Sir George visited the mast at Hannington, before digital switchover takes place for television sets in Hampshire in February. Hannington is the site of Arqiva’s transmitting station, and Sir George was met by Peter Heslop, Digital Switchover Director, and Bruce Randall, Corporate PR Manager.
“One can see the mast from all over the constituency but I had never been to the site before. The site is much bigger than one would think, with a large number of buildings, some of them still owned by the government as the site was of strategic value in the second world war.”
Because the preparations for the digital switchover take place while existing analogue broadcasts are made, additional buildings have had to be set up to accommodate the new equipment.
“Because of technological progress, the new equipment takes up less space than the equipment that it replaces, most of which can be recycled. I was impressed by all the backup arrangements, in order to ensure that transmission of the television channels is not interrupted by any technical failure.”
Arqiva have a contract with BBC and other television stations for the next 25 years, which enables them to recover the very substantial investment in new equipment on site, and then its maintenance.
“I was impressed by the professionalism of everyone that I met, and as the switchover from Hampshire is taking place towards the end of the program, I hope it goes smoothly for all my constituents”