Digital Radio Multiplex Services

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st November 2018.

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Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster Conservative, Torbay 12:00 am, 1st November 2018

What progress his Department has made on supporting the development of small-scale digital radio multiplex services.

Photo of Margot James Margot James The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

I recognise the important role that commercial and community radio stations play in the communities they serve, and I congratulate my hon. Friend on the passage of his Broadcasting (Radio Multiplex Services) Act 2017. My Department provided funding for the successful trials of small-scale digital audio broadcasting across the UK, and we have now completed the consultation on detailed proposals for the licensing framework.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster Conservative, Torbay

I thank the Minister for her answer. I welcome removing barriers to smaller community and commercial radio stations going digital, but can she advise on when she expects the new licensing system for small-scale multiplexes to be fully in place?

Photo of Margot James Margot James The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

Having completed the consultation on the new licensing system, we are now working closely with Ofcom on the detailed arrangements, including spectrum planning, on which Ofcom has the lead. Our aim is to bring forward the secondary legislation required for the first stages next year.