UK’s FITT taskforce makes industry recommendations

The UK’s Future of Innovation in Television Technology (FITT) taskforce has made a number of recommendations to help guide the industry and create sustainable growth.

In a report that marked the conclusion of an 18-month collaborative industry project, the taskforce made 13 recommendations including the establishment of a leaders assembly to guide a ‘Next Generation TV Technology Planning Programme,’ and a ‘Technology Advocacy Programme’ to share newly developed technologies and applications.

Presenting the findings at the DTG Summit in London yesterday, culture minister Ed Vaizey said: “The FITT report helps to clarify a number of important issues, opportunities and challenges facing the UK television industry. We will take careful note of the specific recommendations for government and will work closely with the industry-led Next Generation TV Planning Programme.”

Among the other recommendations put forward was: for the DTG to convene a cross-industry working group to respond to the challenges of big data in television; for sufficient spectrum to be made available to DTT, DSAT, Mobile and WiFi; and for computing platforms and operating systems to be the focus of government and industry initiatives and funding.

Responding to the report, John Cresswell, the CEO of broadcast services firm Arqiva, said that he welcomed the key points raised, but warned that “the longevity of TV relies on the Government providing certainty and clarity to the industry, so it can continue to invest and innovate.”

“This includes the need for commitments around the availability of sufficient spectrum to ensure Freeview can continue to offer a diverse range of channels nationwide, as well as the necessary support for a future DVB-T2 switchover to allow more HD, and ultimately ultra-HD, programming,” he said.

Chairman of the FITT taskforce and of the DTG, David Docherty, said the report was a “testament to the resolve that exists within the industry to deliver innovation that consumers and viewers want and to keep the UK TV technology industry globally competitive.”

The FITT taskforce was launched by Vaizey in September 2012 and was tasked with “with identifying specific measures aimed at leveraging the UK’s track record of innovation in television technology to create sustainable economic growth.”