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Digital Dividend

Spectrum Policies

The successful delivery of spectrum policies and the realisation of their potential is important for the Department. It involves balancing the competing demands of different, though converging, sectors. The Department must determine its priorities  and identify a way forward. The Department will take account of competing cross departmental sector policies. This arises since spectrum is a major and critical enabler for the different sector developments.

The ITU World Radiocommunications Conference 2007 (WRC07) made available part of the UHF TV band to mobile telephony. This resulted in the first digital dividend.  The next Conference in 2012 (WRC12) made available even more of the UHF TV band to mobile telephony.  Thus spectrum for mobile telephony has increased. This must be balanced against the effect of the reduction in spectrum available for digital television.

The first digital dividend was co-incident with the transition from analogue TV to digital TV. The  second digital dividend will happen in 2020. The Department hopes that viewers who bought receivers since mid 2013 can continue to use their existing equipment. However some viewers will need to change their TV aerial or repoint their aerial. The Department expects that viewers will make any necessary equipment changes between September 2019 and March 2020.