Television: Rural Areas

Department for Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered at on 26 October 2023.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Neil Hudson Neil Hudson Conservative, Penrith and The Border

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to ensure access to digital terrestrial television in rural communities.

Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)

The Government remains committed to digital terrestrial television (DTT), the technology which underpins Freeview. Millions of households across the UK rely on DTT, particularly rural communities and older people.

While Freeview currently reaches nearly 99% of UK households, good terrestrial television signals may not be available to all households due to a number of factors such as local topography and spectrum availability. In these cases, Everyone TV – the organisation responsible for the day-to-day running of Freeview – advises that viewers consider other options to access free-to-air television such as the satellite service Freesat, which has total coverage in the UK.

The Government recognises the crucial role that DTT services such as Freeview play in the wider UK broadcasting system, in particular in helping ensure that public service content continues to be widely available and free-to-air to all audiences. For these reasons, we have legislated to secure the continuity of DTT until at least 2034.

We have also recently launched a major research and engagement programme looking at how UK audiences will get their TV in the decades to come, including digital terrestrial television (DTT), satellite, cable, and online.

Before any decisions about the future of terrestrial television are made, close consideration will be given to how any changes would impact audiences, and especially those who rely on DTT as their primary means of watching television.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.