You might be surprised to learn that, whatever UK Free TV, the government, the regulator Ofcom and others have been saying about the digital switchover set to start in November 2008 (so that 98.5% of the population will get a Freeviwe service by 2013) the frequencies have not been agreed with our European neighbours France, the Netherlands, Belgium and the Republic of Ireland.
However, television signals are no respecters of arbitrary political international borders. As many have found out, hot weather and high pressure can cause signals that would normally leak into space to rebound around the planet. This can cause interference to analogue signals and the complete loss of digital ones.
Now UK delegation to the International Telecommunication Unions (ITU) Regional Radiocommunication Conference (RRC-06) in Geneva have got required agreement and also the go-ahead for the expansion of digital radio.
Ex-advertising boss, and outgoing Ofcom Chief Executive Stephen Carter said: "This accelerates the move to all-digital broadcasting. After months of detailed negotiations involving more than 100 countries, this successful outcome is testament to the hard work and dedication of the UK delegation."
Ofcom today reconfirmed that 98.5% of the UK's population will get the three public service television multiplexes (1, 2 and B) and that 90% will get the full Freeview service. This means that 907,000 people will not have any terrestrial television service after 2012 and just over 6 million people will not get multiplexes A, C and D.
They also note that they can now sell off the freed up television transmission frequencies (aside from those used for radar and space telescopes) to provide income for the government after 2012.