Communications Minister Ed Vaizey has announced the government's committment to work with industry to publish a Digital Radio Action Plan aimed at encouraging more consumers to make the switch to digital radio and giving industry the confidence it needs for investment.
Speaking at the Intellect Digital Home Conference, Ed Vaizey said: "Digital radio is a huge opportunity for radio listeners and the radio industry alike. At a time when we are looking for manufacturing success stories, British companies like Pure, Roberts and Bush are world leaders. And the technology offers radio lovers the same explosion of choice that TV viewers have embraced so wholeheartedly.
"But we can't impose this on an unwilling public, no matter how persuasive the business case, or how clearly we know that analogue is already providing a barrier to growth and creativity. So listeners need to be persuaded that the content on offer is compelling, that the quality is high and that digital radios, at home or in the car, are affordable and have listening quality that is at least as good as FM.
"The Digital Radio Action Plan I am publishing today sets out our clear commitment to make progress towards digital radio switchover. But I am not setting a date. The industry believes 2015 is an achievable target date and we will work to support that ambition. And when the weight of public opinion is behind it, with more than half of all radio listening digital, then we can take the decision on when the country will be ready for switchover."
The DTG welcomed the move, issuing a statement saying: "The DTG is confident that, given the experience gained by policy makers, stakeholders, broadcasters and the consumer electronics industry, this plan can build on the success of the Digital TV Action Plan and can deliver comparable benefits to consumers.
Digital television switchover has driven consumer confidence in digital technology, and we believe that with the support and approval of industry, stakeholders, and most importantly, the consumer, 2015 is an achievable target for digital radio switchover.
Consumer acceptance of digital radio must be underpinned by a strong and clear consumer communications campaign, a compelling service offering, near-universal coverage and reliable and robust products available to the consumer at affordable prices. The DTG looks forward to playing a key role in the latest evolutionary step in UK broadcasting."
Image: Communications Minister Ed Vaizey
DTG Staff | 08.07.2010