Television

Arqiva to supply BBC with digital transmission services

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MUMBAI: UK pubcaster The BBC has selected Arqiva as its preferred supplier for a range of new digital transmission services.

Subject to agreement of final terms and other matters, the BBC hopes that it will soon be able to sign a contract with Arqiva for the design, deployment, and operation of a new high-powered digital terrestrial television (DTT) network for the BBC which will come into service as part of the UK's digital switchover programme.

This will replace both the BBC's analogue television network and the current low-powered DTT network.

In so doing, the BBC will be able to increase the coverage of its DTT services so that they substantially replicate the coverage of analogue television.

These transmission services will become operational during 2008 and will continue until 2031. Arqiva will also be responsible for building and operating additional transmitters to expand the coverage of the BBC's DAB digital radio network. At least 10 and potentially a further 160 new transmitters will come into service starting in 2007.

This expansion in DAB transmission will make BBC DAB services available to listeners in a number of parts of the UK. The exact locations of the transmitters are still to be agreed and the BBC hopes to confirm the precise details in due course.

The selection of Arqiva follows a rigorous procurement process conducted throughout 2005 and early 2006. The selection of Arqiva as the BBC's preferred supplier has been approved by the BBC Governors.

BBC controller of distribution Richard Waghorn said, "This represents one of the major steps in our preparations for digital switchover. It will mean that everybody who currently receives a good analogue service will receive the BBC's digital services through their aerial after switchover.

"Subject to finalising our discussions with Arqiva, we hope soon to be able to sign a contract with Arqiva which will also secure true value for money for the future provision of these transmission services."

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