04 August 2008

Switchover help scheme "a Trojan horse"

The government's digital switchover help scheme has been fiercely criticised by a coalition of consumer groups and equipment manufacturers, who claim the scheme is "stressful, confusing and unfair". The contract to carry out the scheme was awarded to Sky earlier this year, but is funded by the BBC licence fee. Critics argue that this has given the satellite broadcaster an unfair advantage and an opportunity to promote its pay-TV services to the most vulnerable members of society. It provides satellite dishes and set-top boxes to claimants, but also provides free Sky+ services and two months free viewing of many subscription channels.