Annual report 2010

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Find out more about the UK’s switch to digital television in our review of the year

Explore our online annual report for interviews, key facts and figures on digital television switchover in the year to 31 March 2010

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Well, the UK’s TV switchover programme is a really significant undertaking because it combines a large scale engineering programme, where just about every one of a thousand transmitters across the country has to be re-engineered, with both a consumer communications programme, that has to touch every TV viewer in the country and a stakeholder communications programme where we have to work with a whole variety of stakeholders from electrical retailers, charities and consumer groups, equipment manufacturers and the digital TV platforms, to get them to help us help the viewers through the switchover process.

Progress is monitored by our programme management office, our PMO as we call it and the PMO team sits right at the heart of the organisation. Quite often you’ll see project management teams sitting somewhere on the outside and they’re seen as quite bureaucratic or administrative. For us, it’s right in the middle of the organisation and manages each of our 22 switchover projects and their progress through switchover.

Well, we have two important tools to monitor our progress. One is the switchover tracker survey and the other is the programme and focus groups that we run. The switchover tracker survey is one of the country’s largest face-to-face surveys that’s running at the moment. We will interview 14,000 households up and down the UK this year and it’s an interview that takes place on their doorsteps, so face-to-face with them and we ask them a whole range of questions about whether they’re aware of switchover, what’s happening and what they’ll need to do. So from that we get a whole series of statistics about the readiness of each region. That’s complemented by the focus groups programme where we can speak to people in much more depth. We take a small group of people into a room for a couple of hours and we’ll get them to talk to us about what they feel about switchover and with those quantitative and qualitative research techniques, we can really keep a close eye on where a region is, spot any issues as they arise and address them early.

Well of course, as we’ve gone through this process we’ve learned an enormous amount and we’ve collated what we call ten transferable lessons that we thought might be useful pointers to other private or public programmes of this sort of nature. To highlight one of our implementation lessons, I think we’ve seen the benefits of using a secure, attainable and clear timetable for switchover which has a moment of compulsion of course within it and we’ve been very careful to always only ever announce switchover dates when we have absolute confidence that they can be met. So we announce dates with increasing granularity as time goes forward. We started off with a 2008 to 2012 timetable, then we announced which region would go in which year and then when engineering works are sufficiently advanced at each site, we’re able to say exactly which date that transmitter will switch over.

Switchover progress

Updates and videos

Read more about switchover across the UK’s regions and nations

Updates and videos

Consumer research

Consumer research

Learn about the legacy of switchover and why viewers love the digital life

Read the research findings...

Financial report

Financial report

Digital UK’s financial report for the year to 31 March 2010

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