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Digital offers opportunities for radio to innovate and grow. The increased capacity of digital allows for more content and functionality, connecting radio with listeners in new ways and opening up new business opportunities for broadcasters.
The government is committed to a digital future for radio, and we believe a switchover process is the most likely way to deliver a transition to digital radio in a coordinated way. In July 2010, the government launched the Digital Radio Action Plan to ensure that if, or when, the market is ready for a switchover it can be delivered in a way so as to protect the needs of listeners, and results in a radio industry fit for a digital age. The Plan was finalised in November 2013.
On 16 December the Government announced that whilst digital listening has been growing steadily now is not the time to commit to a switchover. A package of measures to support digital radio were announced and the details can be found here.
Digital radio action plan
Radio switchover is the point at which all national and large local stations currently broadcasting on both DAB (digital audio broadcasting) and analogue frequencies will cease to broadcast on analogue. Small local and community stations will use the vacated FM spectrum.
The purpose of this Action Plan was not to implement a transition to digital radio, but to provide the information to allow for a well-informed decision by Government on whether to proceed with a Digital Radio Switchover. In the event of a decision to proceed, this Action Plan would have provided the key information necessary to enable Government to decide, at this stage, when and how to deliver a Digital Radio Switchover and set the foundations for a successor project to implement it.
The Digital Radio Action Plan has been updated periodically following its launch in 2010. This version (10) is the final one and was published on 9 January 2014.