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Ofcom proposes changes to digital television technical codes

Proposed changes follow last year's fires at Red Bee Media's playout centre and at the Bilsdale transmitter

In the wake of last year’s fire at Red Bee Media’s playout centre, Ofcom is proposing changes to the UK’s digital television technical codes.

The codes impose a set of technical standards primarily designed to ensure viewers receive Freeview services without interference, said the regulator.

Ofcom said both the incident at Red Bee and the fire at the Bilsdale transmitter, which left over one million viewers without TV, led to the suggested changes.

The proposals include:

  • requiring TV multiplex operators to provide regular updates to Ofcom on their progress towards meeting the recommendations set out in our Bilsdale fire incident report. This included a recommendation to promptly review the adequacy of their plans for recovering services in the event of a major incident and those in place to support and communicate with affected viewers and listeners.
  • requiring Channel 3, Channel 4 and Channel 5 licensees to assign the same priority to the resilience of access services – such as subtitling, signing and audio description – as they do to vision and sound.

Ofcom is inviting views from interested or affected parties by 20th February 2023.

The full list of proposals is available here.