Campaign to protect Freeview and radio beyond 2040

As you may have seen in previous editions of the RSN Spotlight, the Rural Services Network (RSN) is a founding coalition member of the Broadcast 2040+ campaign. The campaign was established to ensure the Government’s media policy protects vital broadcast TV and radio services for decades to come. As it stands, these services are only guaranteed until the early 2030s.

Tens of millions of people in the UK, including those in rural communities that the RSN represent, rely on digital terrestrial television (DTT) – mostly known as Freeview – and broadcast radio. These services are universally available and don’t require a superfast broadband connection or a monthly subscription cost. 

Broadcast TV and radio are particularly important for the most vulnerable in our society, including those who are isolated in rural communities. We are aware that a large proportion of the RSN’s members struggle with broadband connectivity, meaning that Freeview and broadcast radio are highly important sources of entertainment, news, and sport. Ofcom’s 2022 Online Nations report found that 6% of UK adults don’t have an internet connection at home. This is higher in Wales (9%) and Scotland (7%) which contain the most rural geographies across the UK.

Given the important roles these services play in our daily lives, it is unsurprising that 85% of adults in Great Britain suggest Government or local MPs should actively support the continued provision of broadcast TV and radio.

That’s why, as part of Broadcast 2040+, we’re taking our case to the decision-makers in Westminster and beyond, calling on the Government to safeguard the future of these vital services. Most recently, over-60s campaign group Silver Voices launched a Parliamentary petition calling on the Government to guarantee access to broadcast TV (Freeview) and radio beyond 2040.

Silver Voices is a partner in the Broadcast 2040+ campaign and represents older people, including those who live in rural parts of the nation, millions of whom rely on digital terrestrial television and radio for entertainment and to stay connected to society. 

The petition has received over 20,000 signatures, with support from viewers and listeners across the UK and in every Parliamentary constituency. As a result of reaching 10,000 signatures, the Government issued a formal response, which you can read here.  

Broadcast 2040+, in partnership with Silver Voices, are now pushing to reach 100,000 signatures, which would mean that the petition is considered for a debate in Parliament. For more information, and to add your signature, please visit the UK Parliament Petitions website here. 

The campaign is rallying support from groups that represent all walks of life to demonstrate the value of broadcast services to people up and down the UK. Keep your eyes peeled for more updates on our activity to secure the future of these vital assets. For any questions or for more information on how to get involved please email


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