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The DCMS Committee has published ‘The future of public service broadcasting: Government Response to Committee’s 6th Report of Session 2019–21’.

 

In it, the Government has “committed to acting on Ofcom’s prominence recommendations including through legislation and will do so as soon as the legislative timetable allows. We expect to set out next steps later this year”.

Other highlights include:

  • The Government “wholeheartedly” agreed with the Committee’s assessment that there was still a strong need for PSB and as such the need for PSBs as free and trusted information sources would remain a top priority for the Government.
  • The Government will combine the views expressed in the committee’s report, its own review and Ofcom’s Small Screen Big Debate and set out its position and next steps later in the year.
  • It disagreed with the committee’s link between broadband availability and universal access to PSBs and said the move to a wholly online PSB system would need to be industry led.
  • On the TV licence, the report stressed that the Government was considering decriminalisation amongst other possible reforms to the licence fee system.

Commenting on the report’s findings, DTG chief Executive Richard Lindsay-Davies said: “We welcome Government’s acknowledgment that universality is the core tenet of public service broadcasting, delivered via technologies that are commonly available.

“We look forward to working with our members to sustain the universal deployment of common technical standards developed through industry consensus, like the universally- implemented DTG D-Book.

“We are also keen to work with Government, and would stress that any move to a wholly online public service will require input from all stakeholders and actors in the sector, including the regulator and legislators, as well as our industry members.”

Read the full report and recommendations here.

Georgie

17 Jun 2021

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