Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary, has announced the first 20 towns that are expected to get local TV stations occupying channel 106 on Freeview. Each town or city has been hand picked by Ofcom from a list of 65, and are expected to be licensed come summer 2012 for all your local TV issues.
The lucky, lucky people of Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton and Hove, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Grimsby, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth, Preston, Southampton and Swansea, will all get a taste of the local TV allocation. Each place was picked through a combination of spectrum coverage and local enthusiasm for local TV.
Of course who is actually going to provide the infrastructure for all these local stations isn't quite yet finalised and nor is the legislation to power it -- Ofcom's hoping it'll be a single multiplex operator for the whole lot. Whether it'll take the form of the kind of public access TV that the US enjoys hasn't been ironed out just yet, but we could see hyperlocal on our TV sets in time for the Olympics. Just what I've always wanted -- Moreen from next door giving me the weather forecast and the goings on in my town, including when the bin men are going to come. Must-see TV I'm sure. [TechRadar]
Photo credit: Local TV from Shutterstock