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Campaign news

News about our campaign is reaching people across the country.

Press Releases:

Consultancy firm, EY's Report: “TV Distribution After 2034”

 Government urged to protect Traditional TV as report warns 5.5 million premises will lack high-speed broadband by 2040

Please read the press release here.

"Safeguarding Universality: The Future of broadcast TV and radio service"

Silver Voices, an over 60s campaign group and founding member of the Broadcast 2040+ campaign, has published its landmark report. 

You can read the full report here.

Coalition grows to 30 members after record breaking Eurovision and coronation viewing figures

Media Coverage


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December 2022

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Industry and Regulatory Updates


WRC-23 Decision Safeguards Future of Broadcasting

The World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC23) in Dubai has now concluded. Its purpose was to review the international Radio Regulations, which govern the allocation and use of radio-frequency spectrum needed to deliver broadcast services. This helps make sure that different types of communication, like broadcasting and mobile phones, don't interfere with each other, coordinating the use of radio frequencies so that everyone can use them efficiently without causing problems. It is particularly important for the future of broadcast services as countries came together to determine the future spectrum allocation needed to deliver these services. 

We’re delighted that the conference secured digital terrestrial television’s place as the exclusive primary service in the crucial 470–694 MHz frequency band across ITU Region 1. This is a significant win for the campaign as it secured reliable access to the radio frequency spectrum and regulatory conditions needed to deliver broadcast services across the UK, such as Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) and broadcast radio. By being the sole primary service in the 470-694 MHz band, this solidifies broadcast TV and radio’s central role in the broadcasting landscape.

While celebrating this victory, it's important to note that another debate on spectrum use and future needs is scheduled for 2031. The call for certainty to 2040 and beyond remains a key focus for the campaign and we will continue to call on the government to ensure stability and support for the long-term sustainability of the broadcast services. 

Stay tuned as we’ll continue to update on further developments that will impact the future of broadcast TV and radio services!

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Age UK Report into ‘Tackling the cost of living crisis for older people: What the Government must do'

Age UK have published a report into the impact of the cost-of-living crisis for older people, providing recommendations to government on more they can be doing to support. The report covers the impact of increase in energy bills, mortgage rates and the fear of going into debt. It highlights how 2 in 5 of over 50s are spending less money on food and other essentials, and that 68% of people aged 70 and over have experienced an increase in their cost of living compared to one month ago.


Public Accounts Committee report into the BBC - Public Accounts Committee BBC Report March 2023

The committee found that as of September 2022, 88% of the time that BBC audiences spent with its services was through traditional television and radio broadcasting. To continue the BBC’s commitment to its universal service obligation, it must not move too quickly towards digital only, leaving behind those with poor access to digital services.


National Audit Office: A digital BBC: A digital BBC (

Among its conclusions, this report found that “The BBC needs to balance its greater emphasis on digital and on-demand viewing with the fact that most of its audiences still access it through traditional broadcasting. As of September 2022, 88% of the time that BBC audiences spent with its services was through traditional television and radio broadcasting.” Further, it outlines that “in 2021-22, 73% of UK adults (in households with a TV) still watched BBC TV on average per week, down from 76% in 2020-21. The highest proportions of people watching linear broadcast television are those aged 55 and over (91% in 2021-22) and adults who are disabled (81% in 2021-22). In consequence, as the BBC invests in digital products, to serve all its audiences it still needs to maintain its traditional broadcasting presence.”


Enders Analysis Report: Leading the UK into digital: DTT switch-off, but when? | Enders Analysis

Enders Analysis’ report highlights that “By 2034, at the current migration rate, nearly 20 billion hours of TV will be viewed in DTT homes—just 20% less than today—with over 80% of that being to adults over 55.”


Ofcom Report: Ofcom Annual Report on the BBC 2021-22

Each year, Ofcom publishes a report on the BBC’s performance. This is the fifth Annual Report on the BBC and overall, Ofcom finds that the BBC continues to deliver its remit. However, Ofcom identifies that audiences in lower socio-economic groups and disabled audiences are less satisfied with the BBC. Ofcom outlines that it will launch a thematic review on how the BBC connects with audiences in lower socio-economic groups. It outlines: “The BBC’s mission is to serve all audiences. Yet we have consistently found that some audience groups are less engaged and less satisfied with the BBC. In particular we have found that audiences in lower socio-economic groups, and disabled audiences, are less satisfied. Those classified as falling within lower socio-economic groups represent almost a quarter of the UK population and are more likely to be older, unemployed, retired on a state pension or disabled.” These audiences have a greater reliance on traditional broadcast services.


Call for input: UK preparations for the World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC23)

Ofcom outlines its preliminary view on WRC23 agenda item 1.5, which concerns the review of frequencies currently used by digital terrestrial television. In this document, Ofcom outlines that “our preliminary view is that “No Change” would meet the UKs interests recognising our national usage of the band today. On this basis Ofcom has supported that a “No Change” position is fully considered in the 'Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology and CEPT (European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations) discussions. This would retain the primary broadcasting allocation and footnote recognition for PMSE (programme-making and special events), as the identified harmonisation for the band.”


Jocelyn Hay Lecture 2022

Sir Peter Bazalgette delivered the Jocelyn Hay Lecture 2022. In it he said “I think we should definitely keep DTT, transmitting digital TV to our aerials free, for the foreseeable future. It’s a matter of national resilience…The international infrastructure of our digital age is one of its greatest boons, but also one of its greatest vulnerabilities. It would be a foolish government indeed that surrendered an alternative information network.”

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Broadcast 2040+ in the Rural Services Network’s Spotlight

Our campaign to protect Freeview and radio beyond 2040 featured in the Rural Services Network’s Spotlight series which goes to over 24,000 members.

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NFU survey results show rural areas still significantly behind national averages for broadband and mobile connectivity

The report highlighted the lack of progress being made in both areas, with only 21% of the 814 respondents saying they have a reliable mobile signal in all locations, and a third stating they have very limited or no signal. It is clear that for those with limited connectivity, broadcast services still remain the most viable option to access entertainment and news


Ofcom’s update on its small-scale DAB radio licensing programme

Ofcom recently produced an update on its small-scale DAB radio licensing programme. This ongoing initiative involves issuing new licences for a period of seven years from the start of broadcasting, and there is an option for a five-year renewal. This indicates a strong and continuous demand for broadcast radio licences that will extend well into the late 2030s.

Political Updates:

This is an issue that’s rising up the political agenda, for example:

The campaign's mission features in the Media Bill Debate

This week the Media Bill had its Report Stage in the House of Commons, with MPs discussing the Bill and debating potential amendments. Media Bills don’t come around very often so this is a once in a generation chance to contribute to a major change in the UK’s media law. The Broadcast 2040+ campaign has been working hard to ensure that the future of broadcast TV and radio services are firmly on the agenda as MPs debate the Bill.

We were delighted that our campaigning efforts paid off, with several positive mentions of Broadcast 2040+ across the house. In particular, Douglas Ross MP tabled an amendment to the Bill which would guarantee certainty and secure the future of broadcast TV and radio services. His speech highlighted the importance of the Broadcast 2040+ campaign and citied a lot of our work.  

Key highlights from Douglas Ross MP's speech proposing the amendment…

Mr Ross emphasised the significance of the Broadcast 2040+ campaign, referring to quotes from some of the campaign’s partners, including the Rural Services Network and Digital Poverty Alliance. The Ipsos 2022 data and the new EY Report data on broadband coverage – set to be published imminently -  were also featured prominently.

He specifically references Arqiva’s submission to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee Report, which said that  "Scotland’s greater rurality than the UK average, its island communities, and comparatively older population make terrestrial television services especially important in Scotland".  This underscores the pivotal role Arqiva and the campaign has played in advocating for a number of diverse groups that rely on terrestrial television services from older people, to low-income households, to those in more isolated regions like Scotland.

Additional support for the amendment…

Other MPs also expressed support for our amendment. Kirsty Blackman MP, Spokesperson for the SNP,  emphasised the importance of protecting Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) for children in low-income households, who may not have smartphones and rely on DTT to access children’s entertainment. 

Thangam Debbonaire MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport, highlighted the continued relevance of DTT for millions of people, especially older individuals and those affected by the cost of living crisis. Jamie Stone MP (Lib Dem) and David Duguid MP (Conservative) also echoed Mr Ross’s comments, reinforcing the call for the government to support the protection of broadcast services.  

The government's response…

In the government's closing statement, Julia Lopez MP, Minister of State for Culture, Media and Sport, responded to the proposed amendment, stating that 2034 is not a "cliff-edge" moment for DTT and emphasised the government's commitment to DTT and the communities who rely on it.  Ms Lopez clarified that even after this period, Ofcom would retain the ability to readvertise the multiplex license and for public service broadcasters (PSBs) to continue distributing their linear channels over DTT. This is a clear sign that the government is heeding our call and making increasingly supportive statements about the future of broadcast services beyond the 2030s. 

Next steps…

Even though the amendment was not voted on, there is still an opportunity to push the government to enact legislation that safeguards these services. The Media Bill will now progress to the House of Lords, where it will receive further scrutiny before becoming law.  We will be working closely with the Broadcast 2040+ campaign to advocate for protections to be added to the Bill, to secure the longevity of broadcast services beyond 2040.  

We’ll continue to update you on the progress of the Media Bill and our contributions to the debate surrounding the future of broadcast services.

On Tuesday 21st November 2023, the Media Bill had its 2nd Reading in the House of Commons. The event saw MPs discuss the premise of the Bill and raise their concerns about issues that that may not be covered within the Bill. 

It was great to see Douglas Ross MP’s comments in the debate noting the need for the Bill to protect Freeview TV beyond 2034 – and to have the Culture Secretary, Rt Hon Lucy Frazer MP respond on the floor of the House. Frazer said she appreciates the discussion on universal television access, highlighting the Bill's focus on modernising the listed events regime and supporting TV and radio in the evolving technological landscape.

Shadow Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Stephanie Peacock's MP closing remarks referred to the Broadcast 2040+ campaign. She outlined that traditional TV must be protected to support vulnerable groups. Closing the debate, Sir John Whittingdale MP, Minister for Department for Culture, Media and Sport said, ‘The government will not consider switching off digital terrestrial TV unless we had reached the point where the overwhelming majority were no longer using it to access TV’.

The term ‘overwhelming majority’ went much further than we’ve heard from the government before and is in direct response to the campaign’s pressure and efforts. The campaign is continuing to engage with government, opposition and a breadth of MPs to ensure the Bill protects broadcast TV and radio services beyond 2040. 

Stephanie Peacock MP (Shadow Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport): “In the light of changing viewing patterns, it is sensible to provide PSBs with some flexibility to meet their remit through on demand programming, but the Broadcast 2040+ campaign and others have been clear that public service content on linear television must still be protected and maintained." 

Douglas Ross MP: “She will know that, in our report on public broadcasting, we recommended that the Government provide urgent assurances on maintaining Freeview beyond 2034. That chimes very much with her speech to the Royal Television Society, in which she said: “We want terrestrial television to remain accessible for the foreseeable future.” Does she anticipate an opportunity in this Bill to ensure we have that guarantee beyond 2034?”

Sir John Whittingdale MP (Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure): “Several Members asked whether the Government can make a commitment to the continuation of Freeview beyond 2034. The Government would not consider switching off digital terrestrial television unless we had reached the point where the overwhelming majority were no longer using it to access TV. We are very conscious of that group in the population who still rely on traditional Freeview, and that will be in our thoughts.

Speaking at the Royal Television Society conference in Cambridge in September 2023, Secretary of State Lucy Frazer said “consuming TV should not come at the expense of those who still enjoy terrestrial television.”

“Is it fair to suggest there might be a discussion about maintaining the more traditional terrestrial services for quite some time?” 

Is it a concern of Ofcom’s that infrastructure issues might be alienating issues if we are moving to a digital broadcasting landscape, both in terms of radio and but also smart TVs and online streaming?”

Public Accounts Committee

It is essential that marginalised groups are able to access the BBC in the future

Unlike internet streaming services terrestrial TV doesn’t require an internet connection or rely on a monthly subscription. This type of content is therefore primarily relied upon by those who are already marginalised in society: people on the lowest incomes, older citizens, and those in isolated areas.

The Rural Coalition, an alliance of thirteen national organisations that champion a living, working countryside, has set out an urgent appeal for all political parties to empower rural areas in election manifestos to improve the prospects and opportunities for rural businesses and communities.

The roadmap, ‘A better future for rural England: An opportunity for change’, sets out nine policy principles to address the structural inequalities and weaknesses facing rural areas and the people who live and work in rural England. This includes a key ask on rural connectivity.

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