Julian Calls for a Debate on the DAB Switchover
November 22, 2013
Yesterday Julian questioned the Leader of the House, Andrew Lansley, on whether MPs could debate the switching off of FM and AM frequencies in favour of the new digital radio platform.
Speaking in the Chamber, Julian asked:
“I am sure that the whole House shares my affection for our local independent radio stations that provide an invaluable service in keeping us up to date on community issues, such as Minster FM in my constituency, but there is concern about the proposed switchover to DAB transmission. As such, may we have a debate on the digital upgrade plan and the impact it could have on local independent radio stations?”
Mr Lansley responded by saying that he will ensure that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport responds to the question. Julian is particularly concerned about the possibility that there will not be sufficient capacity for all small, commercial radio stations to be included on DAB frequency. This puts in jeopardy stations such as Minster FM, which broadcasts local news from its studios in Dunnington.
Julian is now leading a local campaign with neighbouring MPs and has requested a meeting with the Secretary of State for Culture, Maria Miller, in order to discuss the issue in more detail.
Julian adds that:
“I believe the current FM transmission is delivering an excellent service to the vast majority of listeners. It is absolutely essential that we have a vibrant and thriving independent radio sector that is able to offer a unique perspective on local issues that perhaps wouldn’t be broadcast on the larger, more mainstream radio stations. The more choice listeners have the better.”