BBC Trust gives go ahead for Freesat

The BBC trust has given the go ahead for the launch of Freesat (Free to AirSatellite) a joint venture with ITV.
The Standard and High definition services are expected to be launched in the spring of 2008. Consumers will have free-to-view access to an expected 200 channels.
An open market for set-top boxes will be developed on the same lines as the present Freeview offerings and  BBC has already been in discussion with potential receiver manufacturers.
Research organisation Strategy Analytics has been reported to say that HD will have a 90% penetration by 2020 if Ofcom allows HD on the terrestrial platform.
Without the terrestrial allocation it is expected that penetration will drop to only 60%.
“The Ofcom and the UK government decisions on HD-DTT over the next few months will shape the UK’s broadcasting environment for many years to come,” notes David Mercer, principal analyst at Strategy Analytics. “They must consider the long term impact on public service broadcasting before making any final decision on spectrum allocation.”
Main source: Broadband TV news
Item added: 1st May 2007