WorldDAB, the global industry forum for DAB+ digital radio, has lent its voice to Broadcast 2040+, a campaign to pressure the United Kingdom government to safeguard digital terrestrial broadcast services until at least 2040. The government’s current policy only guarantees these services, and the important public service broadcasting and other content they carry, until the early 2030s.
WorldDAB President Patrick Hannon says, “WorldDAB is backing the campaign because broadcast digital radio services are critical to securing radio’s future as a trusted and reliable source of news, entertainment and companionship for listeners in the U.K. and worldwide. This is particularly vital in the car, where WorldDAB research found 90% of car buyers say that broadcast radio should be standard in every vehicle.”
U.K. organizations representing a variety of different groups are joining the crusade. New coalition partners include the Digital Poverty Alliance, an organization committed to supporting those who live without, or with very minimal, access to the internet and the Campaign to End Loneliness, a network of organizations working to support lonely people reconnect with their community and the National Federation of the Blind of the U.K.
The campaign believes that a lack of certainty about the long-term future of broadcast services will likely harm the millions of people who rely heavily on them. Broadcast radio is universally available and does not require a highspeed broadband connection or a monthly subscription cost, making these services well-suited to the needs of low-income households, senior citizens or those who live in the countryside. Research from Ipsos shows the significant negative impact of the potential loss of broadcast services, particularly for those vulnerable when disconnected from public information, news and entertainment.
Broadcast 2040+ says 2023 is a crucial year for the broadcast industry. Representatives from countries worldwide will gather in Dubai in November for the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC23). Ofcom will represent the U.K., and the campaign organizers are urging the regulator to send a clear signal that the long-term future of British broadcast services must be protected.