April 24, 2024

5.5 million UK households risk losing access to their favorite TV

5.5 million UK households risk losing access to their favorite TV shows according to a study by consultancy firm, EY.

In the report, EY raised concerns about the need to protect Traditional TV. In the report, EY said that despite the government having a 99% broadband coverage, a gap in broadband uptake would be seen.

The report said there was a need to take action and protect traditional free-to-air broadcast services. Failure to take action would see consumers who are not likely to secure a high-speed broadband subscription from TV programming being excluded.

The affected consumers include low-income households, elderly, disabled individuals, and those residing in rural areas. These individuals will no longer access their favorite TV content.

Need To Protect Traditional TV

In the report, the company said the UK government needed to take more action to protect free-to-air broadcasters. EY also referred to the House of Lords Report on Digital Exclusion saying 31% of people aged above 65 years did not have an internet connection at home.

There is a growing need for TV consumers in the UK to access broadband services with another Ofcom report saying 2.4 million UK households faced challenges affording broadband services.

In its research EY said that the highest percentage of people lacking high-speed broadband in 2040 were in Northern Ireland, with 24% of the population not having access. The other regions mentioned in the report are North East England, Yorkshire & the Humber, Wales, Scotland and North West England.

One of the partners at EY, David Coulson, said the study indicated that viewers needed universal access to broadband coverage. Despite the demographic, people everyone needed to have high-speed broadband.

One of the areas needing more attention was the rural communities. Residents in rural areas had poor internet access and mobile connectivity. However, the government policy needed to change to accommodate the needs of those in rural areas to ensure they are not at a disadvantage.

Calls For Government To Protect The Future Of Broadcast

The Broadcast 2040+ campaign now wants to protect traditional TV consumers. The CEO of Digital Poverty Alliance, Elizabeth Anderson, said the goal of the campaign was to protect the future of broadcast TV and radio to bridge the digital divide in the UK.

The chief executive at Rural Services Network, Kerry Booth, opined that despite the shift towards digital platforms, there was a need to ensure no one was left behind. All UK citizens had a right to enjoy the best universal programming. The EY report demonstrates that TV and radio played an important role in the lives of many people.

The switch towards digital platforms has also highlighted the issue of disparity in coverage. Which affected vulnerable members of the community. The issue in question is not just about internet access. Instead, there was a need to ensure inclusivity and equal opportunities for everyone.

While TV content is mostly used for entertainment, it can also be used for education. Traditional broadcast TV and radio have continued to play a crucial role in education and entertainment for years. Given these apparent benefits and the obvious risk of shutting down traditional TV. The government had a mandate to extend the protection of the services beyond 2034.

The government is already paying attention because of the possible issues presented by this threat. A representative from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, noted that the government would ensure that terrestrial TV and radio would remain accessible in the foreseeable future. As such, no one needed to be left behind amid the significant change in viewing habits.


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