All Sections

All TV and radio is rubbish: Digital Voices 17/11/2012

The voices were fairly quiet this week, although that may just mean the new pills are working.

Attracting public bile this week were rubbish TV and radio, more Freeview retunes, and BT. Welcome to Digital Voices for the week ending November 17, 2012.

It's all rubbish

Rubbish, rubbish, rubbish: 4G will wipe out Freeview in 1.9 million homes, confirms Ed Vaizey

Many, many commenters have been exercised to a state of nervous exhaustion by the prospect of 4G broadband interrupting their Freeview signal. Yet just as many have declared that British TV, and the BBC in particular, are not worth watching.

For example, Simon Falla – who may model his demeanour on Mr Bennet out of off of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice (but not the one in Take Hart) – wrote:

“Who really cares?… The TV is Rubbish…Radio is even Worse!.. Get rid of the whole lot, and I wouldn’t miss it…and I’m being serious!…I have Sky, for the sake of my family, but I watch about 1 hr per week.”

Hulk smash: 5G UK: Ofcom plans 2018 auction for 700MHz

Ofcom chose Friday (November 16) to launch three major reports affecting both Freeview and broadband – the two staples of Recombu Digital. There’s nothing like ploughing through hundreds of pages of Ofcom-ese to make a Friday fly by, we can tell you.

The headline story was that Ofcom is planning to reshuffle Freeview at the end of this decade to make room for more mobile broadband, because mobile data use is growing at a ridiculous rate and there isn’t enough space for the demand expected in the next 20 years.

With some people already facing a Freeview retune or even a new aerial to make way for 4G mobile broadband, this provoked a mildly hysterical response from Peter Jarrett (mild hysteria being the internet’s version of considered and proportionate).

Peter wrote: “This is crass incompetence on the part of Ofcom and the government. Will Freeview HD recorders bought in the last 2 years at great expense have to be replaced or will the tuners cover this new band? I would have installed Freesat if I had known about Freeview problems. This could only happen in the UK……”

And the good news is that all Freeview HD kit will work at 600MHz, because it’s right between the two bands already used by Freeview. The bad news is that you might need a new aerial. Watch this space for more information.

The blame game: Britain’s first 300Mbps fibre-only village unveiled

The big question in getting Britain’s broadband into the fast lane is: who should we blame for not getting Britain’s broadband into the fast lane sooner?

Discussions beneath the story of Britain’s first fibre-only village – Deddington in Oxfordshire – have seen old Maggie Thatch in the frame, although so far neither immigrants nor travellers have been fingered.

Philip Eldridge laid the blame fairly on BT’s doorstep: “BT not investing in their own monopalistic infrastructure caused the issue why offer cheap ADSL when you can charge the earth for leased line or killostream connections. That went on for years with BT continuing to charge the earth for outdated services for years after more cost effective solutions were available.”

Do you remember the good old days, when New Labour and Tony B Liar got all the blame?