Editorial: Consumer rights in 600 MHz
Jul 23, 2013 by PolicyTracker


TagsBlog, Broadcasting, Mobile

The UHF shake-up means many people will need new TVs, and in the UK there is no long-term guarantee about terrestrial HDTV. Isn’t the consumer being treated badly?

Many European countries will shortly move TV into 600 MHz, so it seems, and a burst of consumer anger may be around the corner. Some people will have to buy new sets with MPEG4 and DVB-T2, only a few years after having bought a digital set, and some will need new aerials. “We can’t keep expecting people to buy new equipment,” said a French regulator at a recent event.

It’s also emerged that in the UK there is no guarantee about the number of High Definition services. Up to ten new channels are being launched on DTT, but will they continue after 2018? Regulator Ofcom can’t give a guarantee. So if consumers like the idea of these new channels and choose terrestrial rather than satellite, won’t they feel misled if the HD services disappear a few years later?

There is no quick fix magic bullet policy solution, but whatever choice is made there will be a big impact on the public. Isn’t it time the consumer had a stronger voice in the decision-making process?