In a letter to the FT, former ITV chair Peter Bazalgette has argued that while UK broadcasters are right to be preparing for the internet age, they should not forget the importance of digital terrestrial television.
Bazalegtte writes that in the time of a crisis, the internet may not necessarily stand up as a means to relay urgent messages to viewers.
With the possibility of DTT being switched off in the 2023s to free up spectrum, he argues that maintaining alternative means of content distribution such as DTT and FM is a “matter of national resilience and it would be a foolish government or regulator which ignored this”.
“The director-general of the BBC, Tim Davie, is rightly preparing the corporation for the internet age,” writes Bazalgette. “But he should also be arguing for the maintenance of DTT. Neatly this combines technological resilience with the enduring value of the BBC’s trusted news services.”
In December, Davie called on the UK’s media industry, politicians and regulators to join forces and work together to “secure the future of a thriving, trusted, world-leading UK media market”, as the media landscape transitions to an internet-only world”.