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Brief news from meeting with BBC and Digital UK
Mon 28 Jun 2010

A recent DorBAG meeting with the BBC and Digital UK chaired by OLiver Letwin MP produced so promising news and some not so promising news:

1) The BBC Trust has carried out a consultation on its strategy - the results are available at:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/our_work/strategy_review/index.shtml.    We are concerned at the "no more local" element to this draft strategy, but were assured that, at least for radio, Dorset would not be affected, should the BBC decide to re-introduce BBC Radio Dorset - even as a morning only programme.   However, local TV news is not included in this exclusion!   We must fight this!

2) The BBC has been working on more original local news& have added their material to Facebook, which has generated considerable interest, especially from younger viewers!

(Organisationally, you can see how important Dorset is presently considered by the BBC, according to this source, at http://www.radio-now.co.uk/sw.htm - you need to scroll a long way down to find Dorset lumped in with Hampshire etc. etc!)

3) Summary report from DorBAG’s Digital TV reception problem questionnaire - to 31st May, 2010:

• Total valid responses 95 (12 more were from areas that had not yet switched)
• 80 complaints about loss of ITV 3 & ITV 4
• 54 complaints about poor or no reception (11 occurred at switchover & 14 occurred after national retune)

The above data showed that:
a. The loss of ITV3 & 4 on relays has caused much anger
b. Poor or no reception reports after switchover or retune showed Ofcom’s promises were not fulfilled.
c. A map has been created which clearly illustrates a strip of problems along the coast, and up the Frome valley in particular.   Based on this sample data, Oliver Letwin suggested that perhaps as many as 50% of residents could, in reality, be having problems.
d. Agreed that a more detailed survey, followed by curative action was required.  Oliver Letwin will write to the head of Ofcom requesting action.


3) Digital UK:
a. Bill Taylor advised that the switchover for the West is complete.   Main issues related to retuning due, in particular due to interference from Wales.
b. Overall he felt it had gone well.
c. Next switchover will be the Channel Islands, with Meridian still scheduled for 2012.


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