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We are on the verge of the launch of 19 new local TV services across the UK. One of the challenges is how to squeeze more channels through an already congested infrastructure – networks and transmitters.

It is worth remembering that, although local TV is groundbreaking as far as the Broadcasting landscape is concerned in the UK, the technology is set firmly in the traditional TV domain although I do expect that in the fullness of time, we will see enhanced web based services too.

Behind Multiplexing Terminology

Slugger O’Toole is a news and opinion blog which takes a critical look at regional, national and international politics.

User-friendly approach needed

Wonderful that Ofcom is proposing to introduce incremental changes in spectrum use that could encourage the development of satellite-based Internet services linked to Earth Stations on Mobile Platforms (ESOMPs).*


Apparently, ships, trains and other moving vehicles including planes can better track orbiting satellites – closer to the earth than geo-stationary satellites – and obtain Internet services while on the move.

but more innovation required

In a previous blog I pointed out how the Scottish Government (SG) was pushing along the path of institutional innovation in ways that challenge UK-wide regulation.

SG had published a paper on Economic and Competition Regulation in an Independent Scotland that sought to simplify the regulatory landscape.


Different models proposed

The Advisory Committee for Scotland (ACS) discusses a wide range of questions each year as part of its regular advice to Ofcom.

When Ofcom’s annual Communications Market Report (CMR) on Scotland is being compiled, we always comment on the findings before they become public. Now that the CMR for Scotland been published, it’s worth highlighting a few key issues.


Local issues brought into sharp focus

Ofcom’s recently published Communications Market Report for 2013 contains a wealth of detail about the way our social structures and interactions are changing with the rapid advance of mobile technology.  Patterns of leisure that once would have taken years to shift have radically re-aligned in a year.

A corner has been turned
Indians with ipads small.jpg

I’m in India where I’m making a film about the slum children of Kolkata.

It strikes me how lucky I am. For these kids survival is all; access to clean water, nutritious food and shelter, everything we take for granted. They still use chalk and slate in infant classes, a far cry from even the most deprived areas of Britain.

Internet take-up highest among Indians in Britain

I found Ofcom’s research on the ways in which families are watching more TV together very positive news.

Given the number of TVs in many households, no one would be excused for thinking that everyone must be watching their own TV.

Big screens, high-definition television might be helping to reinvent the living room as a place where the family comes together to share some common purpose. But as their research notes, things are not exactly the same as the 1950s with viewers armed with laptops, smartphones, and tablet computers. What are they doing?

Twitter engages and empowers viewers

I am trying to help colleagues identify some of the most inspiring social innovations supported by the Internet and related digital technologies and hope Ofcom Advisory Committees and their communities can help me in this search.

Are there critical social challenges that are being addressed through digital innovations? It would be great to get suggestions from the Ofcom community, so please help identify the digital projects you see to be addressing major social challenges, from education to health and jobs.

What challenges are being addressed through digital innovations

News on the latest findings of the Office of National Statistics (ONS) on Internet use underscores the continuing diffusion of the Internet.*

However, the findings also remind us of the difficulty of convincing a still sizeable proportion of non-users that the Internet could be of value to them. Apparently, 59 percent of those without Internet access at their home say they do not need to go online.** This phenomenon is what I have called the ‘digital choice’.***


One in five not online