I agree Arqiva/Digital UK haven't handled the situtation in the best manner, but to give them some credit I also don't think things have gone to plan for them.
The intention behind the launch of COM7 and 8 was to increase the number of HD services on the platform, which would drive the uptake DVB-T2 receivers, allowing them to start switching the other muxes without causing too much disruption.
The reality of what's happened is that excluding the BBC channels they haven't really picked up any major HD channnels which would encourage most viewers to upgrade. The channels that would drive adoption, such as HD versions of the popular SD channels (ITV2, E4, etc), are all currently stuck behind the Sky/Virgin pay wall.
Yes - the ITV/C4 HD channels being paywalled is really annoying. ITV2-4HD and E4/More4/Film4 on Freeview HD would make it a far more compelling proposition.
The muxes are mostly filled by smaller broadcasters, many of which in SD, who have been able to get cheap carrage based on the fact not everyone can see the channel.
As a result they haven't seen the uptake of DVB-T2 receivers that they would have hoped for, although there is now quite a lot out there now with the rise of smart TV's. With that, they're stuck another 'digital switchover' type situation with the politics of trying to switch over while people can't watch it.
Yes - though all Freeview licensed products are now T2 compatible aren't they? They've finally pulled DVB-T/SD only devices from the scheme.
They do need to get their act together and just get on with it however. I would also argue with the available bandwidth for terrestrial TV being increasingly decreased they should start looking at migrating more of the muxes to an SFN.
Yes - a degree of re-arrangment logically to move nationwide services (BBC Two, BBC News, BBC Four etc.) onto common SFNs and regionalised channels (ITV, C4, BBC One) to muxes that aren't SFN-ed would make sense wouldn't it? Though it would mean a major change to the way muxes are 'owned' I guess?
I guess you'd need to handle SFNs for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland slightly differently to handle S4C, BBC Alba, BBC Two nations/BBC Scotland etc.?