Jo Swinson stands up for Scotland on digital TV switchover

Jo Swinson MP has questioned the Government Minister over the timetable for the switchover to digital television in Scotland.

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, Jo asked Culture, Media and Sport Minister James Purnell when a firm timetable for the change would be announced.

The analogue signal is due to be switched off at some point between 2008 and 2012, after which people will only be able to receive a television signal via a digital receiver. There are concerns that people have not been sufficiently informed of the impact that the digital switchover will have, and the steps that will be necessary to allow them to continue watching television.

Jo commented, “Digital TV can offer more choice and a better service for many people. However we need to ensure it is accessible and affordable, especially if Scotland is to be in the first wave of the switchover.

“The cost of the set-top boxes that will be needed to receive the digital signal is a further concern to many low-income households.

“The Government yesterday declined to give a concrete commitment on the timetable for switchover and on its package to protect vulnerable viewers.

“The switchover to solely digital transmission represents a milestone in broadcasting. I would very much hope that it will be marked by a new level of service quality, rather than by frustrated, out-of-pocket consumers.”

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