Concerns for digital switchover in Devon

PUBLISHED: 17:01 26 November 2008 | UPDATED: 11:44 17 June 2010

VULNERABLE Sidmouth residents could find themselves without a TV signal after not getting enough information on next year s switchover according to Devon County Council.

VULNERABLE Sidmouth residents could find themselves without a TV signal after not getting enough information on next year's switchover according to Devon County Council.

Digital UK, responsible for the digital switchover next summer, has been asked by DCC to provide a report detailing its plans to ensure that everybody is fully informed and ready for when the analogue signal stops.

Councillor Des Hannon, Executive Member responsible for ensuring a smooth switchover in Devon, said: "I'm still to be convinced that everybody, particularly vulnerable people such as the elderly and disabled are fully aware that this change will affect them"

"For many people the telly is an absolute lifeline so it's crucial that these groups are specifically targeted for help. I want to make sure that Digital UK is putting every possible effort into this."

"It's our job to make sure Devon people get the very best service through the switchover."

A Government help scheme has been set up to help those over the age of 75, registered blind or partially sighted and those on certain benefits. It offers the conversion of one analogue TV set for £40. This fee is waived for those on pension credit, income support and job seeker's allowance. The scheme also includes residents of care homes.

DCC is concerned that the elderly under 75, people with disabilities or mental health problems and those with English as a second language, all ineligible for the help scheme, will need targeting.

The digital TV switchover will take place from April to August next year. The four analogue transmitters serving Devon will be switched off in phases over several weeks.

For more information about the switchover go to www.digitaluk.co.uk or phone 08456 505050.

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