Thursday, 10 September 2009

Digital radio: Parliamentary Question

House of Commons: Written Ministerial Statements: 9 September 2009

Digital Broadcasting: Radio


Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether his Department’s proposals for the analogue radio switch-off in 2015 have been submitted for rural proofing to the (a) Commission for Rural Communities and (b) Rural Advocate.

Mr. Simon: The Digital Britain White Paper set out our commitment to a full impact assessment of the Digital Radio Upgrade; including consideration of the rural impact. To inform these assessments we will work closely with the relevant stakeholders, such as the Commission for Rural Communities and the Rural Advocate.

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the merits of providing financial assistance to (a) low-income households and (b) households in hilly rural areas in respect of the analogue radio switch-off in 2015.

Mr. Simon: The Digital Britain White Paper set out our commitment to conduct a full impact assessment, including a cost benefit analysis of DigitalRadio Upgrade. The results of this impact assessment will help determine whether there is a case for a Digital Radio Help Scheme, and if so, what its scope would be. In addition, the Consumer Expert Group, which brought together key consumer representatives to inform the Digital TV switchover process, has been invited to extend its scope to cover radio and will ensure that the Digital Radio Upgrade programme takes account of the wide range of listener needs.

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