By Craig Zammit

SYDNEY: Federal government body, Digital Australia, has announced the appointment of former Digital UK chief operating officer, Andrew Townsend, to spearhead Australia’s switchover to digital television.

“His background in broadcasting and experience as a leader of the digital switchover process in the United Kingdom will be invaluable to Australia’s achievement of digital switchover,” communication minister, Helen Coonan, said.

Townsend’s appointment comes eight months after communication minister, Helen Coonan, helped establish Digital Australia, with Townsend now looking to ease the migration of Australian consumers across to digital broadcasting.

However, figures quoted in the Australian Financial Review stated that despite digital television being introduced locally over six years ago, the current percentage of Australian households with digital television capacities is limited to 28 per cent, paltry in comparison with Britain’s 46 per cent.

The full switchover from analogue to digital is slated to occur between 2010 and 2012.