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Peter Heslop and Neal Ackroyd

Peter Heslop, who is leading the implementation of the UK Digital Switch Over project, and Principal Network Design Engineer Neal Ackroyd, will be at Austin Court, Birmingham, on Wednesday, 16 March at 6pm, for the RTS/IET Digital Switch Over presentation. Here are their backgrounds:

Peter Heslop – DSO Programme Director

  • Civil engineering background
  • Over 25 years experience of network infrastructure and roll-out

Peter Heslop is the DSO programme director of Arqiva, which provides transmission and network services to the UK’s broadcasting and mobile communication sectors. Arqiva is responsible for the broadcasting of all terrestrial TV signals as well as BBC radio and the majority of the UK’s commercial radio stations. As such the company is replacing all existing UK terrestrial TV networks with a new high-power network in the Digital Switch Over (DSO) project.

As DSO Programme Director, Peter is responsible for ensuring a smooth transition from analogue TV to a digital-only service by the end of 2012, which is the Government-mandated deadline.

Since joining Arqiva’s predecessor in 1980 (the engineering division of the Independent Broadcasting Authority), Peter has held a variety of roles. He started out as part of the Channel 4 build team, responsible for the successful rollout of the transmitter network in 1982. He has also played a key role in the rollout of TV relays, Independent Local Radio (ILR), and Channel 5 as well as the ITV re-engineering project and the introduction of existing low-power DTT. From 1995 to 2005, Peter was responsible for design and management of all Arqiva masts and towers and has held his current role leading DSO since 2005.

Peter graduated from the University of Manchester in 1975 with a degree in Civil Engineering. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Neil Ackroyd – Principal Network Design Engineer

Neal Ackroyd is a Principal Network Design Engineer within Arqiva’s Broadcast & Media division, focussing on the Terrestrial TV platform.  He acts as one of the technical points of contact between Arqiva’s broadcast customers and the Digital Switch Over project team.

He joined Arqiva (as NTL Broadcast) in 1998, originally as a Spectrum Planning engineer.  He started work on the frequency planning for Digital Switch Over in 2000, soon after the roll-out of the low-power Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) network, supporting the then ITC and later Ofcom.  In 2004 and 2006 he was a member of the UK’s delegation to the ITU Regional Re-planning Conference which agreed the post-switchover frequency plan for approximately a third of the world (Europe, Africa and much of the Middle East).

Neal has worked closely with broadcasters, Ofcom and Digital UK as part of the team that developed the Roll Out Plan order for Digital Switch Over, a process that started in about 2003 and is still ongoing today, and underpins much of what the DSO project team is required to deliver.

You can book online or RTS members can call Terry Stanton on 07831 173123.

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