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Minister promises radio deregulation and small-scale DAB legislation

The Minister of State for Digital and Culture, Matt Hancock, has announced that proposals for deregulation of radio will be put forward before the end of the year.

Speaking on Monday at the Radio Academy's Radio Festival in London, the Minister said: “We asked Ofcom to examine the scope last year on formats, local content and local production requirements. The disparity between analogue radio and digital is obvious, with a lighter touch regulation on digital services. There are multiple opportunities for deregulation, balanced with the continued need for provision of news and locally-focused content. It’s essential listeners can get these services on these new platforms.”

The Minister also announced that he was looking at introducing legislation for the regulation of small-scale DAB multiplex services, following the successful outcome of Ofcom’s Local DAB trial, as reported here.

Matt Hancock also called on the media industry to do more to help drive social mobility by ensuring that the media industry better reflects the UK from all geographies and backgrounds. “Radio plays its part in driving social mobility – but I want radio to do more. The Global Academy has welcomed its first students this month, the Bauer Academy focusses on skills training and Creative Access is getting interns in – both in front of and behind the mike.

But I challenge all media to make improvements in this area. Media should reflect the wider social make-up of the UK from all geographies and backgrounds.”