Department for Culture Media and Sport

digital radio

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.

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, 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.

Digital Radio Action Plan

The Action Plan will provide Government with the information to make a well-informed decision on whether to proceed with a radio switchover.

Radio switchover is the point at which all national and large local stations currently broadcasting on both DAB and analogue frequencies will cease to broadcast on analogue. Small local and community stations will use the vacated FM spectrum.

Following a decision to proceed, the Action Plan will enable Government to decide when and how to deliver a radio switchover and set the foundations for a successor project to implement it.

Key aspects of the plan include:

  • a detailed assessment of the impact of switchover, including:
    • the costs weighed against the benefits for both the consumer and industry;
    • how to ensure rural areas are not left behind
    • the need for a proper environmental plan
  • devising a kitemark scheme for digital radios, backed by minimum specifications
  • developing a marketing and communications plan
  • determining the case for a help scheme and how it might be implemented

This plan is updated periodically. The latest version (8) was published on 14 February 2013.

Version 8

14 February 2013

Previous versions

Version 7

8 October 2012

Version 6

8 June 2012

Version 5

9 December 2011

Version 4

15 June 2011

Version 3

28 February 2011

Version 2

30 November 2010

Version 1

8 July 2010