Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, will today confirm the new Government’s plan to push ahead with DAB.
He will outline details of the Digital Radio Action Plan, which will include better coverage, more marketing and a help scheme, with 2015 remaining a switchover target date.
But despite calls from listeners and parts of the industry to abandon the move to switch off analogue radio, the Coalition will go ahead with the digital switchover and leave millions of people unable to listen to stations currently broadcasting on FM.
The Minster will announce details of the plan later today, which will include:
- Agreeing a coverage plan for building DAB coverage to match FM
- The development of a strategic marketing and communications plan
- The development of a digital radio kitemarkscheme
- The development of a program of activity on cars and vehicles
- The assessment of the necessity of a help scheme
We’ll bring you the latest on this once details have been announced. Meanwhile, here are the quotes in favour of the switchover. Leave your comments, favourable or otherwise, in the box below.
Ford Ennals, Chief Executive, Digital Radio UK, said: “We welcome confirmation of the new Government’s strong support for digital radio and the publication of the Joint Industry and Government Action Plan. It gives us the certainty we need that radio has a digital future. The focus on consumers, coverage and cars is vital and Digital Radio UK looks forward to working with Government and industry to ensure the UK is ready for digital radio switchover.”
Andrew Harrison, Chief Executive, RadioCentre, said: “We are delighted that the new Government has recognised the benefits that digital radio brings for listeners. Certainty around the roadmap to digital radio switchover will help all stations within the commercial sector to invest in the future, with larger stations migrating solely to the digital platform, while smaller stations continue broadcasting on FM.”
Tim Davie, Director of Audio and Music, BBC, said: “We welcome the Government’s commitment to radio’s digital future and the importance they have placed on the listener in any future switchover. The BBC will, along with Digital Radio UK, work closely with Government and the rest of the radio sector to deliver the Action Plan.”
Paul Eaton, Director of Radio at Arqiva, said: “This clear statement from Government will help industry to ensure that digital radio has an exciting future alongside other digital technologies.”