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Ofcom announces 700 MHz clearance schedule 2017-20

To make way for new and better 4G data services for everyone's mobile devices, Ofcom has decided to change the Freeview system around starting in 2017.

More big changes are coming to Freeview.  Photograph: Shutterstock
More big changes are coming to Freeview. Photograph: Shutterstock
published on UK Free TV

Following on from the When will I get a new Freeview aerial because of even more mobile broadband?  article, this week Ofcom have published the dates for the “700MHz clearance”.[1]


New “Switchover” dates

The dates are for the transmitter regions (these main transmitters and the relays of them):

July-December 2017: Bressay, Eitshal (Lewis), Keelylang Hill, Knock More, Rosemarkie, Rumster Forest, Skriaig.

January-June 2018: Bromsgrove, Crystal Palace, Hannington, Lark Stoke, Midhurst, Oxford, Ridge Hill, Rowridge, Sandy Heath, Sutton Coldfield, Tacolneston, The Wrekin, Tunbridge Wells.

July -December 2018: Black Hill, Blaenplwyf, Bluebell Hill, Craigkelly, Darvel, Durris, Hastings, Heathfield, Llanddona, Long Mountain, Moel-Y-Parc, Preseli, Rosneath, Sudbury, Torosay, Whitehawk Hill.

January-June 2019: Beacon Hill, Caradon Hill, Fremont Point, Huntshaw Cross, Kilvey Hill, Mendip, Redruth, Stockland Hill, Wenvoe.

July -December 2019: Angus, Bilsdale, Brougher Mountain, Caldbeck, Caldbeck Scotland, Carmel, Chatton, Divis, Dover, Limavady, Pontop Pike, Selkirk.

January-June 2020: Belmont, Douglas, Emley Moor, Nottingham, Olivers Mount, Waltham, Winter Hill.


I have created an interactive map showing these regions and the dates:


Freeview HD allocations


Channel 55 and 56 will be used for the “interim” HD multiplex com7 and com8:



[1] Maximising the benefits of 700 MHz clearance Enabling acceleration of 700 MHz clearance and use of the 700 MHz centre gap 17th October 2016

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Monday, 20 February 2017

5:32 PM

Note: The Selkirk transmitter is now being "done" in March 2017.

"Freeview said the updating of the Selkirk transmitter in south-east Scotland in March will enable the firm to test its processes ahead of the full rollout, which will begin in the summer.

The Selkirk transmitter serves about 18,000 homes. Some Freeview channels will move to new airwaves, which means that Freeview viewers in the south of Scotland will need to retune their TV equipment on 1 March to continue watching BBC channels.

Ofcom said that for the vast majority, the move will require only a simple retune.

It estimates that in total 100,000 households might need to change their roof-top aerial, and that a small number of viewers might need to fit a filter to their TV to prevent mobile phone signals from interfering with TV reception."

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Briantist's 38,905 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 22 March 2017

10:12 PM

I notice that in the new plan some main transmitters use exactly the same UHF channels as each other . Will there be a frequency offset or other means to reduce the chance of co channel interference?

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hardy's 137 posts GB flag
Monday, 11 September 2017
8:50 PM

Why can cable TV suppliers such as BT not supply a full freeview service to areas currently only getting the freview light service

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Seamus's 1 post GB flag

11:10 PM

Seamus: Because BT would want to be paid for rebroadcasting the commercial channels via their internet TV service. This would require BT to enter into a commercial deal with each broadcaster in order to carry their channels, which probably wouldn't bring them enough additional subscribers to be worthwhile.

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StevensOnln1's 3,567 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 26 September 2017

8:27 AM

It seems the information above is already 'out of date'.
According to Digital UK and the map of 700Mhz clearance,dated September 2017,transmitters such as Winter Hill and Mendip are likely to change frequencies in the 1st quarter of 2018!
But no information on why this has been changed?

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Aerialman's 140 posts GB flag
Friday, 29 September 2017
9:50 PM

It would be interesting to see the detail of Ofcom's cost/benefit analysis of the changes to the spectrum.
I suspect that the benefits to the country are grossly overestimated and the cost are underestimated.
I would like to know how much money will flow out of the UK as a result of these changes, given that most of the new equipment required will be imported and the phone operator profits will be exported. As always it is the consumer who is expected to pay.

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NJ's 16 posts US flag
Saturday, 30 September 2017
8:08 PM

Reading through the Ofcom proposal for reusing the 700MHz band, it appears that only mobile phone interests are important to Ofcom. This is strange given that the profits from the sale of phones and operator profits will all be exported. The police, fire and ambulance communication system is to be moved onto the public services GSM network, while managers and politicians seem to think this is ok, front end staff are not so sure, particular as the tech required is unproven and wine features of the tetra network will be lost, such as direct mode, the only advantage is the improvement in data bandwidth. Ofcom is not bothered by the inconvenience to TV viewers, with possible interference issues glossed over. At least Ofcom has been unable to speed up the move to T2 transmission, leaving the switch to 2022.
My main objection is the cost to the countries of importing all the new equipment and scrapping the old.
Interestingly, it is the expansion of mobile data traffic that is driving these changes, all so users can stream video to mobile devices. I will be amused if consumers confound the predictions of the experts and find something better to do with their the than watch TV on mobile devices.

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NJ's 16 posts US flag
Thursday, 19 October 2017

10:55 AM

please update this this is now not accurate!

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Aerialman's 140 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 8 November 2017
Keith Cunliffe
3:17 PM

What are the Sutton Coldfield , Kidderminster. Bromsgrove and Malvern channels going to be, please. Also I would like to know the Winter Hill channels as well please.

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Keith Cunliffe's 8 posts GB flag
Stuart Harris

5:04 PM

Yes I will be interested in the West Midlands which also should include Brierley Hill which seems to be missing from the list although the curremt channels are in the 700mhz range.

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Stuart Harris's 34 posts GB flag
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