Radio and Television: Broadcasting Reception

(asked on 24th May 2023) - View Source

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to help ensure the continuity of (a) terrestrial television and (b) radio broadcast services for households that (a) live in rural areas and (b) do not have (i) access to broadband and (ii) sufficient broadband connectivity.

Answered by
John Whittingdale Portrait
John Whittingdale
This question was answered on 5th June 2023

The Government remains committed to the future of digital terrestrial television (DTT) and national commercial digital radio services.

Millions of households across the UK rely on digital terrestrial television and radio broadcast services, and we expect this to continue over the next decade. This includes households in rural areas and the small number of households who do not currently have access to superfast broadband.

We also recognise the crucial role that digital terrestrial television and radio broadcast services play in the wider UK broadcasting system, in particular in helping ensure that public service content continues to be widely available free-to-air to all audiences.

For these reasons, the Government has legislated to secure continuity of digital terrestrial television until at least 2034 and national commercial digital radio services until 2035.

As the sector evolves, it is right that we continue to evaluate the future distribution of radio and television. To that end, and as set out in the Broadcasting White Paper, the Government has asked Ofcom to continue to track changes in DTT viewing and to undertake an early review on market changes that may affect the future of content distribution before the end of 2025.

Before any decisions about the future of terrestrial television and radio broadcast services are made, close consideration will be given to how any changes would impact audiences, and especially those who rely on DTT as their primary means of watching television.

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