(Scots Law) A common; a piece of land in which two or more persons have a common right.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Region Left Out of Local TV plans

UK Culture Secretary estimating the size of the South of Scotland

Jeremy Hunt's Department for Culchur Meeja and Seb Coe (DCMS) is consulting
on their strategy for local TV across the UK.

You can take a look here

Unfortunately, the South of Scotland (Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish
Borders) is not to be included in the first wave of areas being offered the
opportunity to bid for a local licence. BBC story on reaction to this omission here

What's worse is that DCMS seems to think that those areas where Digital
Terrestrial TV (DDTV) doesn't fly will shortly be rescued by internet 'IPTV'
broadcasting or other types of service delivered over the web.

IPTV and broadband telly are extremely unlikely ever to properly fill the
gap in rural areas such as our own, where the economics of upgrading the
telephone system or providing blanket high speed wi-fi links are
considerably higher than in large urban areas (where recent increases in
your BT line rental are already being spent to upgrade infrastructure).

There are further issues around equality of access. Even where it is
technically possible, IPTV will require a new telly, or at least another new
set-top box, as well as a fixed phone line and monthly internet service
charges. All of which comes on top of the usual TV licence charge.

The 'so what?' of all this is all about audiences and commercial viability:
better reach = bigger audiences = better advertising revenue.

So, please hassle your MP (especially if they happen to be David Mundell or
Michael Moore) to slip a few sage words into Mr Hunt's shell-like and, if
you can spare the time, make a formal response to the DCMS proposals.

To wit:

• South of Scotland transmission areas should be included in this first
• IPTV is not a realistic substitute to broadcast DTTV in rural areas

Please note that this is a separate development from the news this week that
Offcom is minded to expand STV's broadcast area to cover the whole of D&G
and the Borders.

The deadline for responses is 23rd September.

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