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Digital Radio UK welcomes Government commitment

Digital Radio UK has welcomed the Government's ongoing support for digital radio, as the Minister of State for Digital and Culture confirmed that the new Government will consider the merits of a digital radio switchover once digital listening hits 50%.

Following Matt Hancock's speech on Monday, where he also confirmed legislation to make small-scale DAB part of the permanent digital radio landscape and outlined the importance of digital radio, the organisation coordinating the development of Digital Radio welcomed the commitment towards a digital radio switchover.

Responding to the confirmation, Ford Ennals, CEO, Digital Radio UK, said:
“It’s great news that the Minister has re-affirmed his commitment to digital radio and will consider the merits of setting a timetable for digital switchover when we achieve the 50% listening criteria. We very much look forward to working alongside industry and Government to reach that important landmark in the coming 12 months.”

With 45% of all listening already being done via digital platforms, the industry is working on hitting the 50% trigger in 2017. As part of this, DAB digital radio coverage is currently being expanded to cover more areas. The next milestone will be reached on Friday 30th September, when a new local DAB multiplex for Suffolk is activated from transmitters at Puttocks Hill, Mendlesham and Warren’s Heath, bringing local stations such as BBC Radio Suffolk on to DAB for the first time, ahead of a full launch of the multiplex in October.

Additionally, by the end of 2016, 90% of new cars are expected to have DAB radios fitted, helping move more listeners to the digital platform.