The National Rural Conference 2024

The Rural Services Network (RSN) is thrilled to announce the National Rural Conference 2024, taking place from 16th to 19th September. This virtual event, accessible via Zoom, is the premier gathering for senior officers, members, policymakers, and rural service professionals.
Further information and booking details can be found here

Culture Secretary promises to protect traditional TV

Last week the Culture Secretary, Lucy Frazer, committed to ensuring traditional TV viewers will not be left behind in the digital switchover.

In her key-note speech to the Royal Television Society, she unveiled planned research on the future of TV in the UK.

She told the audience:

“New ways of consuming TV should not come at the expense of those who still enjoy terrestrial television.

“We’re not going to pull the rug from under the devoted audiences of Freeview channels... We want terrestrial television to remain accessible for the foreseeable future.” 

Her comments follow a speech from BBC Director General Tim Davie, also to the RTS, late last year.  He said:

“Imagine a world that is internet only, where broadcast TV and radio are being switched off and choice is infinite.

“There’s still a lot of live linear viewing but it is all been delivered online.

“The internet has stripped away the historical distribution advantage of having half of the TV channels or FM frequencies. In this world relevance, like trust, has to be earned.”

Under current government policy, broadcast TV and radio which are delivered through an aerial, are only guaranteed until the early 2030s.

However, this leaves a number of rural residents at a disadvantage according to RSN Chief Executive, Kerry Booth.  She has been advising Broadcast 2040+ which is calling on the government to “secure the future of broadcast TV and radio to at least 2040”.

Commenting after Ms Frazer’s announcement, Kerry said:

“We are delighted to hear that the Culture Secretary has listened to our concerns.

“There is a real danger that our rural communities will be left behind in the race to make everyone digital. 

“Everyone deserves free high-quality TV, radio and online services but the reality is the infrastructure isn’t there yet in rural areas and many residents aren’t ready to make the change over.  We hope this work will address this.”

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