A last-minute surge in sales of set-top boxes meant just 2,000 of Whitehaven’s 25,000 homes lost BBC2 when its analogue signal was pulled on Wednesday (17 October) as the first stage of the national digital switchover.
This time last week, 78% of homes had satellite or Freeview, but this had risen to 92% when switchover began.
BBC2 plus BBC1, BBC3, Five, News 24 and CBBC are all now available on Freeview in the town and 14 more channels will join them on 14 November when all analogue signals will disappear.
Until then, viewers will have to switch to analogue to watch ITV1 and Channel 4. Digital UK said there was still some confusion among older residents and that it would stay in the region to offer advice over coming weeks.
The Scottish borders will be the next region to switch over, kicking off in Selkirk in autumn 2008, followed by the West Country, Granada and Wales.
Digital UK aims for a quarter of UK households to be digital-only by the end of 2009.