16.08.10

Age isn’t an issue for Ofcom

AUTHOR: Inavate

Compensation for upgrades that result from the digital frequency switchover in the UK will not take into account the age of equipment.

The Government and Ofcom will clear TV bands 31-37 and 61-69 of all wireless microphones and similar technologies that operate on these frequencies. At the end of July, Communications Minister Ed Vaizey announced that the Government would be making a “significant contribution” to the replacement cost, but only for equipment that tunes to channel 69.

Save our Sound UK, a campaign body supporting the interests of the professional audio industry, has issued a statement following its review of details, published by Ofcom, that explain the compensation package.

The organisation welcomed the Government’s decision not to take into account the age of equipment that requires upgrading. SOS UK said this was hugely important because a ‘residual value’ concept, if implemented, would have been devastating to the industry. “The change in position is attributable to the hard work of all those involved in the campaign, including our many supporters in Parliament and industry leaders such as Harvey Goldsmith and Sir Cameron Mackintosh,” SOS wrote in the statement.

However, the organisation does point out that the Ofcom statement does nothing for those who own equipment that does not happen to tune to channel 69 but will still be rendered redundant as a result of Government action. SOS UK claims this decision will disproportionately hurt small businesses and individuals that supply equipment and expertise to high-value large-scale events.

“The fact that the ‘significant contribution’ only amounts to around 55 per cent of the cost of replacing redundant equipment means that there will be a large number of affected groups, including theatres, freelancers, musicians and church and community users,” the statement contined.

SOS UK had recommended that equipment owners examine their inventories, compare their units with the rate card available at www.pmsefunding.co.uk and inform the scheme administrators, Equiniti of any errors or omissions.