Minister Rabbitte Announces Community Outreach Digital Switchover Programme – DCENR

Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte T.D. today announced that he has signed an agreement with national voluntary organisation, the Wheel, to develop and operate a nationwide community outreach digital switchover programme (Outreach Programme).
Dublin, 10th January 2012

The Wheel in conjunction with voluntary and community organisations throughout the country will roll out a countrywide Outreach Programme in April 2012 which will provide additional assistance and advice at community level to those who may find the move to digital TV difficult. The aim of the Outreach Programme is to ensure that everybody is made aware of the switchover and that no TV viewers are left without a TV service once the national analogue TV service switches off on October 24th 2012.
Minister Rabbitte said, “When we launched our information and awareness campaign in October, I indicated that I would also put a national community programme in place to help people understand the move to digital TV, how this will affect them and to ensure that there is advise and assistance available to guide them to make the decision that best suit their needs. I am delighted therefore to work with the Wheel, Irish Rural Link and the many other voluntary and community sector organizations who have already indicated their willingness to participate in this programme. It is really encouraging to see the level of support offered by these organizations during this period. ”
Anyone who currently relies on an aerial to watch TV – approximately 250,000 households across Ireland – will need to take action before 24th October 2012 to retain access to TV services. Guidance on the Digital Switchover is currently available at, through LoCall 1890 940 980 (English language) and 1890 940 970 (Irish language) and through information booklets which are available in post offices and Citizen Information Centres throughout the country. The new Outreach Programme will work to supplement this guidance by providing additional information and advice at community level.
Between now and April 2012 the Wheel and its National Advisory Group comprising members of Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, The Wheel, Irish Rural Link, Age Action Ireland, GAA Social Initiative, Disability Federation of Ireland, Society of St. Vincent De Paul, Irish Farmers Association, ICMSA, Rural Transport Initiative and the National Network of Community Services projects, will be busy ensuring that adequate personnel with the information and knowledge to assist with digital switchover are in place in every county in Ireland.
The Minister concluded “The programme is about reaching out to our neighbours within the community to ensure that they have the assistance and information they need to move to digital TV. My primary aim in establishing the Outreach Programme is to ensure that no one gets left behind after the switchover”.
In the next few weeks information on the programme will be advertised and sent to voluntary and community organisations throughout the country setting out how they can get involved.

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