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Students embrace the digital bill

The Student Radio Association has pledged its backing for the Digital Economy Bill and has urged its members to write to their MPs in support of the Bill.

The body wants stations to highlight the potential benefits that student radio will receive as a result of digital radio switchover.

The Digital Economy Bill contains provisions to enable the consumer-led transition from analogue to digital radio for national, regional and larger local services. However, Government has made clear its commitment to the continuation of analogue FM after larger stations switch to digital.

The newly-vacated FM spectrum will be occupied by a new tier of local radio, consisting of small local commercial stations and community stations, and Digital Radio UK has pledged to support the SRA in ensuring that the UK’s more than 80 student radio stations are considered when the spectrum’s future is planned and allocated.

Tim Dye, Chairman of the Student Radio Association, said: “We are delighted that Digital Radio UK has embraced the needs and well-being of the student radio sector within its vision for digital radio switchover, and we look forward to working with them in ensuring a thriving analogue spectrum where our member stations can provide an even better service to the UK’s student population.”

Ashley Tabor, Global Founder & Group CEO, Global Group, said: “Student radio not only provides a great service to its community of listeners, it is an absolute hotbed of future talent for our industry, both on and off air. It is one of the places where some of our best-loved DJs and most talented producers and technicians cut their teeth. Its future health is our future health, so as an industry it is absolutely vital that we create a broadcasting environment in which it can thrive.”

Ford Ennals, Chief Executive of Digital Radio UK said: “Digital switchover means a healthy radio sector, and that’s good for all stations, of all sizes and purposes. We are committed to delivering a boost for those ultra-local, community, student and hospital radio stations that will continue to broadcast on analogue post digital switchover, and to ensuring that they remain as accessible to listeners as those stations that have migrated to digital.”

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