TV viewers demand traditional television is protected for ‘at least 30 years’

TV and radio transmitted through an aerial is guaranteed only until the mid-2030s under government plans.

Our Keep Us Tuned In crusade backs campaigners demanding terrestrial services and Freeview will go on for at least 17 more years.

Polling for a study by Silver Voices found eight in ten people want the switch-off delayed to at least 2051 and as far as 2079.

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Director Dennis Reed said: “The removal of broadcast services risks isolating our members further and no one should be left behind.

“The Government must take action – including by implementing the recommendations we set out – to protect these vital services. They are not only an essential national asset but something millions of older and vulnerable people rely on.”

Around three-quarters of respondents believe winding down broadcast services and switching to online streaming risks leaving behind significant portions of the population.

The Silver Voices survey and fellow campaigners from the Broadcast 2040+ coalition have found the over-60s are the most concerned about being left behind by the changes with 70% worried about not having the technical skills needed.

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Some 77% of respondents of all ages in the survey of 4,000 people reported watching television through Freeview weekly, while 64% listen to broadcast radio.

The Safeguarding Universality report calls for the Government to secure broadcast for generations to come by extending the commitment beyond 2034. It also urges ministers attending next month’s World Radiocommunication Conference to protect the spectrum of frequency of Freeview, otherwise it may be lost and the services disbanded.

Decisions at previous events have already led to a reduction in the spectrum allocated to digital ­terrestrial TV.

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