Ahern rethinks all-Ireland platform



The BBC's plans for a free satellite service have caused Ireland's Communications Minister Dermot Ahern to rethink which platform to use for his proposed all-Ireland television service, originally due to be a DTT service.

Speaking at the opening of this year's Celtic Film & Television festival, Ahern conceded that the fact that the BBC 'free-sat' footprint will include Ireland will have serious implications and that this will have to be factored into his department's examination of the available options. Satellite, he said, now has to be considered as an alternative platform: "Despite the BBC's decision to provide free satellite services in Britain from May, I still plan to promote this all-Ireland service."

He added that such a service, based on the existing UK Freeview model or on a new satellite platform, offers the synergies that are needed, concluding: "I am committed to the delivery of an all-Ireland television service. I believe that is where our future lies and I will continue to work towards that in the coming months."