Broadcast firm Arqiva has subcontracted work on the switch to digital TV to Cable & Wireless.
Arqiva – formerly known as NTL Broadcast – is the BBC’s preferred supplier for distribution and transmission, and the deal will see Cable & Wireless providing distribution feeds to Arqiva transmitter sites for the BBC’s two digital TV multiplexes.
The agreement will cover a 25-year term, starting in 2008 when the new high-power network begins to roll out across the country a region at a time.
Cable & Wireless is not new to the BBC, having provided the corporation with telecommunications infrastructure for 13 years.
The digital switchover will see the complete replacement of the analogue terrestrial transmissions network that has been in place since the 1930s. The switchover is expected to take four to five years, with just under 70% of UK households already receiving digital TV, according to broadcast industry body Digital UK.