As residents are aware, I have had numerous discussions with Ofcom (the media regulator) about digital TV issues. Apart from the Freeview concerns (click on headline above to read more on these), I have discussed local TV provision with the regulator about the possibility of licences and local feeds from digital transmitters to ensure that Dundee could get another local TV service at some point in the future.
Residents will recall the popularity of the Channel 6 service that many people in the West End used to be able to receive when it transmitted its programmes from the Tay Bridge transmitter.
However, unless Ofcom allows for sufficient local tv licences for digital, further local television in the City would not be possible after the analogue switch off.
I have discussed this matter with the Administration Group on the City Council, who unanimously supported my suggestion of lobbying Ofcom to make Dundee’s case, and the Economic Development Department has written to Ofcom on the matter. I am pleased that both Angus Council and Fife Council has indicated support, as has Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA).
Ian Stewart MP, the Labour Member of Parliament for Eccles, has agreed to put the following Early Day Motion to the House:
“Local Public Service Television
This House congratulates Ofcom in finding a means to deliver local television to every household across the UK on Freeview and looks to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to introduce a licence for the provision of local public service television during the rollout of Digital Switchover.”
I have now written to our local MP in Dundee West Jim McGovern to ask him to sign Mr Stewart’s motion.