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Broadband Woes as BBC Plan to Switch Off Terrestrial UK TV by 2030

Thursday, Dec 8th, 2022 (9:09 am) - Score 22,432
BBC-Building

The Director-General of the BBC, Tim Davie, has given broadband ISPs and mobile operators something extra to think about after he proposed that the corporation could plan to “switch-off” terrestrial TV and radio signals by the end of 2030. In their place, the broadcaster would focus on online content and streaming (e.g. iPlayer).

The last time we reported on the BBC specifically was in January 2022, when the UK Government proposed to end the existing BBC TV Licence Fee from 2027 and replace it with a new funding model, which could include a Netflix style subscription, government grants, more advertising or possibly a levy or tax on consumer broadband ISP bills etc. (here). But that is a whole other debate.

At the time, some reports suggested that the day would come when the BBC also needed to completely retire its terrestrial TV and radio signals, which would save money as they’d no longer need to use a huge network of masts to broadcast signals across the UK. Likewise, homes would no longer have any need for a TV aerial on their roofs.

In a speech hosted by the Royal Television Society yesterday, the Director-General set out his vision for what a 2030s media market could look like, which included a proposal to “switch off of broadcast” by 2030.

Tim Davie, BBC Director-General, said:

“Firstly, we must work together to ensure that everyone is connected, and can get their TV and radio via the internet. This isn’t something to resist. A fully connected UK has very significant benefits for society and our economy. It would unleash huge opportunities for innovation. 

For the BBC, internet-only distribution is an opportunity to connect more deeply with our audiences and to provide them with better services and choice than broadcast allows. It provides a significant editorial opportunities. A switch off of broadcast will and should happen over time, and we should be active in planning for it.  

Of course, there’s a bad way it could happen. Where access to content is no longer universal. Or is unaffordable for too many. Where the gateway to content is owned by well capitalised overseas companies.  

So, we must close gaps and guarantee accessibility for all. Forecasts suggest that by 2030, about 2 million homes will still not be using fixed-line broadband and even in a few years 5% of the UK landmass may not be covered by 5G or 4G to provide content on the move. Now I know that there is a renewed effort to drive this coverage by Government and the DCMS; this is critical. 

While the BBC cannot fund the build-out it can collaborate with others to make a move to online attractive to all, and play a big part in educating people about the transition. We will become more active as part of a coalition to make this happen.  

Let’s all work to plan it flawlessly and leave no-one behind, and ensure that UK businesses and audiences get maximum benefit.”

In terms of fixed broadband coverage, which at present is the most relevant factor, the Government’s £5bn Project Gigabit programme aims to extend networks capable of delivering 1000Mbps (1Gbps) download speeds to “at least” 85% of UK premises by the end of 2025, rising to “nationwide” coverage (c.99%) by around 2030 (here). Yesterday’s forecast from Point Topic (here) suggested that 97% might be possible by 2030, which we think is reasonable.

However, you don’t need 1Gbps speeds for HD (High Definition) or 4K (UltraHD) video streams / IPTV services, which tend to be the norm for such services TODAY (tomorrow may be different). At present, 10Mbps (USO) can already handle a couple of HD streams, while you’d need c.15-30Mbps for a single 4K stream, depending upon quality and codec. But by 2030 newer video codecs will make it possible to compress these streams into even smaller bitrates.

According to Thinkbroadband, some 97.39% of UK premises are already within reach of a 30Mbps+ capable “superfast broadband” connection, which does tend to suggest that the gap that needs to be filled is relatively small. Naturally this doesn’t help with scenarios where people, particularly much older users, may not even have broadband at home, but solving that will be an altogether more difficult challenge.

On the other hand, the move to IP-based phone services will effectively make it a requirement, after 2025, for those seeking to only retain a landline phone at home to have a broadband connection, even if only a very basic one (e.g. Openreach’s 0.5Mbps FTTP tier exists for precisely this purpose – voice traffic is not very demanding). But once you have that connection, then getting extra speed to power a broadband-based TV / streaming service becomes less of an issue.

However, this does still leave the final 2-3% of premises, which often exist in “Very Hard to Reach” areas (mostly rural, but also some digitally isolated urban spots). Tackling this will also remain extremely challenging, and the government are already looking at various solutions, which was underlined by their new trials of Starlink’s LEO satellite broadband service (here).

The Director-General also mentions 4G and 5G mobile services, although in our experience the mobile broadband performance of these solutions in many rural areas is still too variable to be considered a reliable part of the solution, but that may improve as the £1bn Shared Rural Network (SRN) project pushes 4G to 95% of the UK’s landmass by the end of 2025. Nevertheless, this will still leave a gap, and we have our doubts about the 95% target being met and regional differences in the coverage (e.g. in Scotland the expected coverage figure for 4G from all operators by 2025/26 will still be closer to 74%).

The move to switch-off terrestrial TV will no doubt also see a much larger shift in capacity demands, which will place a heavy additional burden on both broadband ISPs and mobile network operators. Admittedly, such providers use sophisticated Content Delivery Networks (CDN) and systems to help manage the load from such events, which caches popular content closer in their networks to end-users (i.e. improves performance without adding network strain). But there might still be some performance detriment, unless time is allowed for effective planning, which may require ISPs to coordinate more closely with the BBC.

At the end of the day, the BBC are proposing a significant shift, which will have impacts across a lot of different areas, many of which fall outside our focus today. But ensuring truly universal coverage of an affordable superfast or better broadband connection must form part of that.

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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100 Responses
  1. Avatar photo John says:

    This is the same guy that finally admitted that the BBC has a leftist bias, after years of subliminal indoctrination of the population and after poor leftist tax policies have hurt their pockets

    Defunding the BBC doesn’t come fast enough

    1. Avatar photo Sam P says:

      Slightly off topic but I was travelling in the car for work this week with some colleagues and they insisted we listen to BBC Radio 2. Now for years I’ve just listened to my own music or podcasts.

      I was pretty shocked at how most of the music was repetitive depressing tracks followed by the news once in a while telling us how many children have died followed by other depressing negative topics with NOTHING positive.

      Going back to your point, I’d be pretty happy for this garbage to be defunded.

    2. Avatar photo Manuel says:

      Legacy media thrives on negative news to push narratives for the their owners. A kid dying due to “toxic air” was paraded all over media to distract from the hundreds that have been dying to stabbing

      As a recent example, Ronaldo is getting absolutely smeared for not having started in the game vs Switzerland. Pretty much all the media is ignoring the fact that Ramos is the current top scorer in the Portuguese league and was used as a secret weapon that the carved their defense like Swiss cheese because they did not know how to mark him. But of course Ronaldo generates the clicks and they also have to protect the wealthy Glazers

    3. Avatar photo Martin says:

      You are possibly happy to be told what to think by tax dodging right wing press press barons. “Hurrah for the Brownshirts” as one of them once said.

    4. Avatar photo gg says:

      @Martin

      You can choose to read or watch the ‘right wing’ press/media (whatever that is).

      You can choose to pay for it.

      You are forced under the threat of prison to pay for the BBC even if you want to choose an alternative.

      As for right-wing press – where? The ‘tory’graph has a number of ex-guardian and clearly lef-wing staff amongst their mix – name ONE right of centre main Guardian hack? I suspect you think anything right of Corbyn ‘far-right’.

    5. Avatar photo gg says:

      @Martin

      And as for allegations of tax-dodging, remind me again where the Guardian’s slavery-funded trust funded is based?

    6. Avatar photo Graham Trott says:

      Is that the same ‘leftist bias’ that gave Nigel Farage such prominence in the run up to Brexit? Some people don’t seem to be able to tell left from right.

    7. Avatar photo Martin says:

      To those who talk about the threat of prison try holding back a few pence from your supermarket bill because you don’t agree with press or TV stations they advertise on.

    8. Avatar photo Crotchety says:

      If you consider the BBC to be leftist, then I think you have been indoctrinated into the Conservative front bench.

  2. Avatar photo M says:

    Well as long as the existing Freeview is still available via FTTP, I guess closing down existing infrastructure and not needing to use TV aerials is good.

    What isn’t good is if the existing range of freeview channels suddenly become unavailable or you need to take out multiple subscriptions to stream them.

    1. Avatar photo Anthony says:

      A lot of ISPs currently offer IPTV services – BT, TalkTalk, Virgin and they have all (or almost all) of the freeview channels offered via IPTV.

    2. Avatar photo Jason says:

      Yes but you have to pay for the TV channels via IPTV whereas using TV masts etc, it’s free.

      Why should I pay a ISP to allow me to stream Freeview channels when it’s already freely available using existing TV infrastructure.

    3. Avatar photo Kevin says:

      The problem is @Anthony is that they keep changing the systems every few years and dropping support for the old systems.

    4. Avatar photo Brian says:

      Jason, huh what? There are several free online TV streaming websites. e.g. https://tvmucho.com/

    5. Avatar photo Brian says:

      ah sorry tvmucho is a bad example, they used to be free. But yeah several places exist that you can watch for free. Good examples: https://www.filmon.com/ or https://uktvlive.com/ or straight from the big boys https://www.freeview.co.uk/freeview-play

    6. Avatar photo Pw19881 says:

      Sorry @Jason but I think you may be missing the point a bit….

      “Yes but you have to pay for the TV channels via IPTV whereas using TV masts etc, it’s free”
      Sorry to burst your bubble but I’m afraid it isn’t free, it’s £13.25 a month

      “Why should I pay a ISP to allow me to stream Freeview channels when it’s already freely available using existing TV infrastructure.”
      Again, it isn’t already freely available, but also why should you have to pay a broadcasting corporation £13.25 a month if you don’t want to use their services, just because you own a device capable of doing so and threatened with prison if you don’t?

    7. Avatar photo VP says:

      BBC is wishy washy liberal. Right and left are meaningless terms.
      Socialist or capitalist are better descriptors.
      We won’t have any comms if we escalate the stupid war in Ukrainian and Vlad, zaps the internet

  3. Avatar photo Gerhard says:

    It beggars belief that at a time where the country is worried about electricity blackouts, the BBC is looking at switching off all terrestrial broadcast. How is the government going to keep people up to date when there is a major blackout. Keeping a few AM or FM transmitters and a few basic newsrooms going on diesel generators should be possible, but keeping a nationwide 4G/5G network powered up during blackouts is simply impossible.

    1. Avatar photo Anthony says:

      Every single time I have had a black out, and the same goes for all of my family too, we just fired up the mobile phones to look on the national grid website. The days of turning on a radio are long gone for many.

    2. Avatar photo UKSaffer says:

      Anthony, during our last power cut the mobile masts were down. As was virgin media. I’m not sure about FTTC/P as i’ve never had it. I guess if you are lucky enough to live near a mast that has backup power you’ll be ok. Sadly none of the ones near me do and all die when the grid does.

  4. Avatar photo Polish Economic Migrant says:

    I like the Netflix style subscription idea, but I am not entirely sure they’ve considered all pros and cons of this solution. What if people will not be interested in their offer? Will govt impose another special tax to fund it regardless, or it will be must have subscription (like license fee today)?

    1. Avatar photo Anthony says:

      I suspect they will have a tax for basic service and then subscription for all their premium content. Now given the highlight Christmas event for the BBC is, once again, Mrs Brown’s boys, I cannot think how they could class what they offer as premium content. Its always a load of dreck

    2. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      Mrs Brown’s Boys is an incredible ratings success. Many people like it. It’s the reason the contract was extended and kept it’s slot that was demanded by Brendan O’Carroll. If the BBC did not make it, it would be snapped up by other broadcasters.

      Just because YOU don’t like it, does not make it wrong….

  5. Avatar photo Billy says:

    Just think how much more the BBC will be able to pay its sports commentators when it no longer has to waste money broadcasting. That’s obviously after they’ve changed their title to British Streaming Corporation and enriched a few lawyers fighting the existing users of BSC for sole use of the acronym. They might also employ a few proofreaders too, to cut down on the amount of smelling pistakes and gibberish on their website. Although since the advent of youtube, the ability to read and write has fallen quite significantly, and they may have to import a foreigner to do the job.

  6. Avatar photo tech3475 says:

    I feel sorry for the poor sap who will have to setup/teach my grandmother how to watch TV if this proposal happens.

    She’s one of those people who has no internet at all and anything above channel 5 might as well not exist.

    1. Avatar photo Sam P says:

      You should be helping your own grandmother….

    2. Avatar photo Tech3475 says:

      @Sam P

      First of all it was a bit of a joke, easily open to include myself although for distance reasons alone it would be be impractical.

      Second I have tried to help her in the past but to no avail or my services actively refused because she doesn’t want internet, etc.

  7. Avatar photo Anthony says:

    This is the best news I have heard in a very long time, easily in 2022. I cannot wait until the TV signal is switched off. Also if the BBC and Government can afford to give everyone a free freeview box in 1999 to do the digital switchover. They can afford to give everyone a Roku now to do an internet switchover.

    1. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      Who got a free Freeview box? I don’t know anyone who did, it was analogue is going to be turned off, get a digital box, or you lose TV. I got myself a cheap basic box just to watch TV and then had to get another cheap one to be able to record stuff, not that they were cheap for me at the time.

    2. Avatar photo Anthony says:

      You had to apply for it and they sent one out. If you were on a pension or benefits they would also come and install a brand new roof aerial or freesat dish/box ontop all for free. But again you had to apply for it.

    3. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      I don’t remember that.I did haver an on digital box, I forgot I had that, I also forgot I had it before the switch off, that was a load of rubbish as well, i liked the idea, but digital terrestrial was awful then, not that much better now to be honest, Freeview is an awful platform and Freeview play is pathetic, it works when it wants to.

  8. Avatar photo Michael says:

    This is just an extreme way to save money. They are switching off SD versions of their channels though next year on sky, virgin and Freesat. They need to do the same on Freeview after. I think DTTV needs to live on for longer.

    Yeah sure the current transmitter network will carry 5G on the same frequencies so coverage won’t be much different but we won’t see many TVs supporting 5G TV for some time. It’ll drag other broadcasters to do the same thing if they don’t want to.
    I just think if we have a pure HD/ DVB-T2 future then there won’t be a cost to SD versions of channels.

    1. Avatar photo yeehaa says:

      DTT has been switched off in Switzerland as the majority of the population use cable and satellite to receive television, but they’ll still be a need for it in the UK, perhaps just not with as many transmitters as we have now.

      I’m in broad agreement with you though, by 2030, most parts of the country will have access to some form of high speed internet service. It would make sense to convert some of the DVB-T transmitters to DVB-T2 and drop the +1 and SD channels. Catch up services such as iPlayer and ITVX do the job of +1. Have BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 channels on HD along with a few others and that’ll probably fine until at least 2040.

      Personally though this just looks like the BBC doing some sabre rattling and I’d be very surprised if it were to happen.

    2. Avatar photo Jonathan Roberts says:

      This is all very well, but ever since Broadband became ‘ a thing ‘, each government, of both parties, have promised ‘ global UK coverage ‘, by a given date, and yet as an example , here in remote SW Scotland, BT for some weird reason, chose to install Fibre to premises , in one street alone, this set a lot of local.folks to take to social media, or just face to face anger about how BT have abandoned the rest. Just afterwards several Dawes and folks, living in more remote villages on the peninsula, spoke of how , even after all these years, they still have not progressed above .5 – 1mb basic terrible slow speeds.
      The figures of who’s actually able to have a suitable signal are skewed, if there is no power then for example a national emergence signal , say in the event of war, how would that still work? Government advice is still to keep an old fashioned radio , ( some advice , mentions wind up radio ). Then on top of all this , the extra data and internet traffic this will create , on the aging copper network, will be substantial, and that’s not even the end of that, because, they will need to use some form of internet, for vehicle charge points , which after the van on Fossil fuels, will be needed UK wide , at every road served or linked address .add to that , the internet of things, like home automation, streaming cameras, doorbells.
      That’s a huge amount of extra data, to handle , when the current crop of ISp’s seem to have regular outages , caused by ‘ congestion ‘. We still live in an age of bandwidth throttling , done to curb peak hour usage .
      So if they add all this extra TV traffic, does the TV picture turn bocky at best , because Emmerdale , EastEnders etc is on TV?.
      Years ago they hatched a plan to send internet via TV type airiels , nothing came of it . But this plan is I’ll thought out , there is far too much extra traffic due to start up .
      And by choosing 2030 , the same year they want everyone to have an electric car etc . Added to IOT , iPhones , etc etc etc .
      Also final thought , who’s paying to replace thousands of miles of copper cables, some dating to the 1940’s , with Fibre cables ?, Who’s paying for that project, in the midst of a national economic crash .
      They can’t even re open rail lines, build motorways , power plants , hospitals or schools .
      It’s another I’ll considered mess.

    3. Avatar photo The Facts says:

      The current transmitter network will go, unrelated to frequency reuse.

  9. Avatar photo The Facts says:

    ‘could’. Please amend title.

  10. Avatar photo Optimist says:

    Excellent! Watching BBC will only be possible by paying for broadband as well as, presumably, a subscription charge in place of the BBC licence fee. So at least people unable or unwilling to pay for broadband will at last be able to receive non-BBC broadcasts via Freeview, which will at last live up to its name!

    1. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      Unlikely. The other free broadcasters will move behind a pay wall.
      No free TV except the most rubbish ones filled with cheap (American) junk.

  11. Avatar photo chris says:

    no objections for their TV service, but shutting off radio broadcasts, not that good, radio it is an accessible -low cost as well- way to receive some information even when you are in a location without internet coverage.

    well the only positive – I bet- is: no internet TV = no tv licence – eff off BBC

    1. Avatar photo Matt says:

      The cynic in me suggests they’ll just move the license fee from a TV license to an internet one and we’ll just have to pay a tax on connectivity then.

    2. Avatar photo Crotchety says:

      In this godforsaken country you don’t get owt for nowt. If the network infrastructure is to be used for all information and entertainment then I can only see bad times ahead. Contention will be an issue and the populations ability to fix their own connection problems, which I am sure most of you on here do, will become a major issue. Once again the poorest will suffer the most.

  12. Avatar photo Barry Forde says:

    If all TV moves to IPTV there are potential traffic load issues for ISPs. How many of them support multicast, in fact do any of them? Also do Starlink or OneWeb support multicast? For real time streaming unicast is pretty inefficient on bandwidth use!

    1. Avatar photo Polish Economic Migrant says:

      It doesn’t have to be multicast and unlikely it will be.

    2. Avatar photo XGS Is On says:

      Can’t assume CPE support multicast, Barry, and many ISPs rely on wholesale networks with BRAS, paying by the megabit so multicast isn’t going to help with the biggest part of their bills. The pennies they pay per Mbps per month even for transit won’t come close to the costs per Mbps per month they pay their wholesalers.

      CDNs as close as feasible to customers make far more sense than trying to lever multicast in for right now. That and/or PIs to the BBC rather than using public exchanges or, worse still, transit.

    3. Avatar photo Barry Forde says:

      I’m not an expert on multicast but believe that it would limit the traffic on any link to have only one stream per broadcast channel. So the BBC would transmit one copy of each channel into the system and each ISP then passes that onwards internally. Clearly this only works with broadcast channels not time shifted/on demand content. CDNs and caches are the solution to on demand content and yes getting as close to the CDN as possible is the way to handle that. Already we see most ISPs having internal caches for the big traffic generators and that does help a lot. However if the BBC stops over the air broadcasts then the net result would be many individual streams from the CDNs or transit gateways to each village/town/city. That must be expensive in bandwidth.
      Multicast is a well understood solution and perhaps, as with ISPs being forced to IPv6 due to address starvation, we will see some implementations appear when the bandwidth implications seep into the ISPs planning.

    4. Avatar photo Barry Forde says:

      @XGS – Yes I imagine there are all sorts of issues with BRAS and assorted upstream technologies. I think most CPEs will support multicast, I’ve done a quick check on my Zylan unit and it supports both IPv6 and IPv4 multicast. But of course upstream when using wholesale supplied customers it comes down to whats possible. But surely OR/BT must have some support for Multicast built into their food chain?
      If they dont now then surely they will have to respond to the BBC shifting to OTT broadcasts?

    5. Avatar photo Polish Economic Migrant says:

      @Barry, they don’t have to push anything to the ISPs it can be still the same technology like now via the iPlayer which is built in every smart tv now. You pay, you have an access. Multicast has its own reserved IP address space, no need to use IPv6 on this.

    6. Avatar photo Roger_Gooner says:

      @Barry Forde:
      It depends who you are. For Virgin Media all linear TV content is sent from headends to hub sites via IP multicast in the DVB-C broadcast spectrum on the core network. The DVB-C broadcast spectrum will one day disappear as VM is working on delivering everything over IP.

    7. Avatar photo XGS Is On says:

      Roger: DVB-C is generated at the hubsites. Edge QAMs receive digital MPEG streams from the headends and encode them.

      The DTV streams have their own transmission between super headends, headends and hubsites across dedicated fibre / wavelengths. They don’t use multicast or the IP network.

      Even if they were zero point in using multicast between SHEs and HEs as it’s broadcast so every node where the signal is dropped off receives everything, zero point in multicast between hubsites and headends as there’s dedicated fibre between them anyway and DTV is inconsequential levels of bandwidth in the grand scheme.

      The actual hubsites have CMTS in them. These use the same edge QAMs as the TV: the CMTS receive analogue QAM / OFDMA from users on the return path but actually transmit digitally over Ethernet to the QAMs which generate the RF.

      Have a Google of Converged Cable Access Platform for more.

    8. Avatar photo Roger_Gooner says:

      @XGS Is On:
      The central headend collects broadcast feed in IP from landlines and ASI in RF from satellites (which are descrambled into IP by integrated receivers/decoders). After further processing including combining broadcast channels into 8MHz carriers Cisco IP routers multicast the data to the hub sites over the core network via the regional headends (where local content is added) and, for the FTTP network, the still-digital TV data is Ethernet-switched to VHUBs. The access network is then used to transport RF via coax or RFoG in efficient analogue QAM carriers to every premise.

    9. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      Only some is satellite fed. The main feeds from BBC and UKTV are direct now by fibre. In the olden days, everything was sat or DTT and recoded hence bad picture quality compared to a normal satellite viewing due to recoding.

  13. Avatar photo Ross says:

    The problem with this is the same issue as using things like Sky Glass / Stream. If your internet goes down your left with nothing, far better to leave channels 1-5 in HD on Freeview, all other services via Internet. As for Radio, DAB should continue but see little point in the older services.

    1. Avatar photo Kenneth says:

      The only downside to this for me is I record freeview movies, mainly on Film4, and then convert them to mpeg4 for my plex server using my laptop and USB Tv Tuner. Although this might happen until 2030 so have time yet i suppose!

    2. Avatar photo Anthony says:

      When we all get FTTP it is highly unlikely the internet will go down. And if it does it will be a rare occurrence. I have had CityFibre FTTP since the first week of January and my internet has not went down once. With vDSL it was a fortnightly occurrence I would get the off brief cutout.

    3. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      I am in that situation anyway, if the net goes down then I lose all streaming services and I don’t have an aerial plugged into my TV and no dish, I removed that a few months ago as it has not been used for years. Still, I could either read or pout a DVD/Blueray on instead. I could listen to the radio, I forgot about that.

    4. Avatar photo Karl G says:

      Only problem there switching off broadcast radio is you instantly make millions of home, portable, hifi and car fm/am/dab radios useless. How many cars today don’t have regular din slots so couldn’t upgrade radio head units, all those portable radios needing disposing/recycling.

  14. Avatar photo Gerhard says:

    in reply to Anthony saying: “Every single time I have had a black out, and the same goes for all of my family too, we just fired up the mobile phones to look on the national grid website.”
    Last time we had a local blackout, the local EE base station was gone as well and while there was still a weak signal from miles away, no data connection was available.

    and in reply to Matt: “The cynic in me suggests they’ll just move the license fee from a TV license to an internet one and we’ll just have to pay a tax on connectivity then.”
    Not that far fetched – Germany already levies a mandatory “Rundfunkbeitrag” (broadcast contribution) of €18.36 per month on each household or company (some exemptions exist), regardless of whether they have a radio, TV or internet.

  15. Avatar photo Ethel Prunehat says:

    If you don’t want to use the internet then you’ve got until 2030 to install a satellite dish, then. I would think that 8y would be sufficient to achieve this, and assume that many of the diehards will have, ahem, died by then.
    Not sure about switching off terrestrial radio broadcasts, however. Radio usage is much more “casual” and I prefer not to fanny about with internet radios when I just want to listen to the radio.

    1. Avatar photo Andrew says:

      Sky’s current contract with astra (who own the satellites) ends in 2028, I imagine over the next few years they’ll begin to move existing customers over to streamed services and recontract a very limited service with astra on a short term basis beyond that – satellite will not last much longer then 2030 in the UK.

    2. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      Not everyone can have a dish, i know people who lives in flats where they are not allowed to have a dish. Radio, well they have been threatening to turn FM off for years, since DAB started and they got no closer. Also, just think how many radios would have to be chucked out. Even if the BEEB stopped broadcasting radio, others would continue.

    3. Avatar photo dave says:

      @ad47uk by 2030 all blocks of flats will have FTTP connected to them and they will likely be required to provide 100mbps ethernet to each flat. The only people that wouldn’t be able to use a satellite dish are those that live in a protected area, whereby they aren’t allowed a dish or people that have trees in the way. Most of these people can will already be able to get good broadband, the rest can use 4g/5g. Basically almost every single person will be able to get iptv or satellite by 2030 so switching off freeview would be a good idea.

  16. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

    By then the BBC may not exist and if it does, hopefully it will be funded by either a subscription or advertising, and we can get rid of the TV licence, which I don’t pay. Even in 2030 there are going to be people who will not have broadband either because they don’t want or they can’t get it. I presume the BBc is going to pay for broadband for the people who don’y want it.

    Digital terrestrial TV was a awful system from the start, and it is still a load of rubbish, channels keep changing by vanishing or being added and the system don’t update correctly so people end up doing full rescans now and again.

    I have not watched normal TV for years,

    1. Avatar photo The Facts says:

      If you had watched normal TV recently you would have discovered rescans are not required.

    2. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      @The Facts, it has been over 4 years since I last watched normal TV, over 4 years since I last had a TV licence, but going from what I have heard from other people rescans are still required now and again as older TVs and some newer ones don’t organise the channels correctly

  17. Avatar photo Brian says:

    Not too bothered myself as I genuinely don’t consume any of their services and don’t pay them, but I know my parents would be upset as they’re BBC News addicts insisting that somehow they’re unbiased (lol). They also won’t upgrade their equipment due to cost and their internet is terrible (2mbit DSL, no 5G, no FTTP).

  18. Avatar photo Aled says:

    The BBC has an existential crisis on its hands. Now frankly I look at the BBC fondly, but it is an organisation with its own flaws and biases.

    It is being slowly crushed to death from both age ranges. The younglings do not watch the BBC in great numbers, and since the BBC telly tax explicitly covers “live streamed TV” where around 40% of young people do not even have a TV aerial solution installed, that tax will inherently die on its knees.

    While older types, who tend to drift towards more Conservative outlooks, are dropping the BBC in significant numbers because of the continual rude bias against any Conservative opinion (insulting your audience is never a good sales strategy).

    I think this is probably a good thing. Maintain a basic arts/public interest funded option, but I really do not like or watch many BBC sports/drama programmes. I hate football and period dramas, while most BBC comedies (with a few amazing exceptions) are truly awful.

  19. Avatar photo NE555 says:

    “internet-only distribution is an opportunity to connect more deeply with our audiences”

    is coded language for: “we can spy on exactly what you’re watching and when, and use or sell that data”.

    1. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      Yep, that is why they are pushing people to get a BBC I.D even just to look at the news, That is why /Iu got rid of the BBc news app because they wanted me to sign in. I do have a BBC ID thing, but only to listen to a couple of things on BBC sounds. They still have no idea who I am as the email address I use is a throw away one, the Postcode I used was certainly not mine and any other info was fake, i also use a VPN.

  20. Avatar photo Colin says:

    I read yesterday that Sky is planning to start switching off satellite broadcasting in 2028, I hope the Internet providers are up to it

  21. Avatar photo Rob says:

    Why would I need the BBC when I have easy access to advertisement funded echo chambers full of people that think like me, never challenge my views and dumb down complicated international issues into simple to explain conspiracy theories.

    I love my uncomplicated life where I am always right and everyone else educated in issues Im interested in that disagree with me are sheep and victims of the MSM!

  22. Avatar photo Clive Bridger says:

    The UK Government proposed to end the existing BBC TV Licence Fee from 2027 and replace it with a new funding model, which could include a Netflix style subscription, government grants, more advertising or possibly a levy or tax on consumer broadband ISP bills etc. Are they for real? A levy or tax, if that’s the case then there needs to be a levy or tax to help them all, not just the arrogant, bias BBC, or better still subscription which is the only fair option, and would hopefully spell the end of the dinosaur BBC once and for all.

    1. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      Nothing have been said about replacing it with anything at the moment, there are some rumours and ideas going around, but nothing is set in stone at the moment. I think it should go subscription myself or just get rid of the BBC

    2. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      And you are the noisy minority, not the silent majority.

  23. Avatar photo Loyd Leifman says:

    It’s about time that the BBC is completely disbanded.It’s been biased over quite a few incidents these last few years.It was,could still be polluted with paedophiles.They,the BBC covered that up for decades along with corrupt police.

    1. Avatar photo The Facts says:

      ‘a few’, ‘could be’. Hardly relevant.

  24. Avatar photo OldTVEngineer says:

    I just hate adverts. Long live the BBC.

    P.S. I still use MW radio in the car for BBC 5 Live. The loss of radio broadcasts will be a bad move, KISS. That’s Keep It Simple Stupid, not a radio station.

    1. Avatar photo Crotchety says:

      Thank the Lord there are still people like us around. Some on here are so Trumpian it frightens me to death.

  25. Avatar photo Serf says:

    Tim Davie is a former Tory councillor and deputy chair of a Conservative association and so can hardly be described as left wing.

    As for left wing media bias the BBC News and current affairs were hardly left wing during their political coverage during elections favouring Tories over Labour with the BBC bias towards Brexit.

    Then there’s the representatives of rightwing think tanks who frequently appear BBC news and current affairs programmes including newspaper reviews to move the political agenda more rightwing and more Neoliberal.

    1. Avatar photo John says:

      The con-socialist party is leftist by every definition of the word. Far leftist ideologies such as CRT and gender theories are rampant throughout their programming, even now as the world cup is reaching the end they bring up unknown washed up footballers just because they tick some diversity checkboxes

    2. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      And the government and OFCOM are responsible for many items seen as leftist or “anti-British”.

      Another common topic; Diversity was pumped by government and OFCOM to BBC/ITV/CH4 particularly with strict targets/metrics and penalties if not met. Speak to government/OFCOM if you do not like ‘enforced diversity’ in programming and adverts.

  26. Avatar photo Keeva says:

    Terrestrial broadcasting is way more environmentally friendly than streaming via IPTV. Imagine all that data centre use… this is a crazy idea.

    1. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      Not really. Terrestrial television uses hundreds of land transmitters using KW’s of power – thousands of KWs in fact.

      Multicast can help with IPTV (yes not right now as changes required). Cloud providers are already green for the major ones with their own power generation and many other ECO design considerations. There are videos online showing data centers from the likes of Amazon and Microsoft and the detail of this.

  27. Avatar photo anonymous says:

    What is the matter with some people. The story is about switching off terrestrial tv. Not your dislike of an organisation and personal vendetta because you don’t like paying for something. Your time is coming, and ALL terrestrial broadcasters are likely to be behind a pay wall with encrypted services. BBC News is completely different to other BBC output and politicians from all parties have said some form of BIAS which is contradictory…..The BBC and other broadcasters can’t shoulder the cost of running transmitters and maintenance via third parties when streamers don’t have this cost burden and OFCOM are wanting to flog the frequencies off to the highest bidder so less and less capacity for services and pressure from that….

    1. Avatar photo Tiff says:

      The problem is that everyone will pay the cost of BBC via the proposed tax on internet bills, whether they watch it or not.
      It should be market rules just like for any other service: if it can’t gather enough subscribers to keep it going then bury it.
      Netflix doesn’t get any share of internet bills either, why would BBC?

  28. Avatar photo John Murray says:

    What happens to the people who are not interested in using Broadband or can’t afford to pay for it, therefore no TV anymore?

    1. Avatar photo timeless says:

      what happens to those who dont watch the BBC period yet are forced to buy a license because you can bet that rules will change, as it is now you dont have to but if everything is forced online then they will just argue you have a connection so can receive our signals,

  29. Avatar photo Al Gonquin says:

    I won’t lose any sleep if the BBC ceased to exist, to be honest.

    I’ll never forgive them for getting rid of Cash in the Attic.

    1. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      LOL, i never forgave them for getting rid of the Formula one, One of the reason I stopped paying for the TV licence,

    2. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      They didn’t ‘get rid’ of it – more misinformation to suit people’s vendetta’s.

      Your friend Rupie Murdoch took it away and made his suckers, sorry, subscribers pay over the odds for it like most other sport too.

  30. Avatar photo Tiff says:

    The only worrying part of this plan is the proposed tax on internet bills. Assuming this would include everyone, wether you watch that garbage BBC or not.

    I for one really don’t like to pay for stuff I don’t use, but just like in the current system, they will force you to pay anyway.

    1. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      And internet tax was just one of the ways the government was LOOKING AT because it’s been done before elsewhere.

      It won’t happen in the UK. Stop using “anti” comments to try and support your overall goal. They simply are not factual. The government will look at many methods to support and public service requirement and separation of non public service content into other funding models.

  31. Avatar photo PoliticalGenius says:

    Holy s*** the level of unbelievable ignorance over what the BBC do and provide is beyond infuriating. Some people make me sick. The bulk of the benefit of the BBC is not directly with its TV (or major radio) channel output, it’s with everything else they do besides.

    I’m not going to go into it as I could write 1000+ words on what the BBC does and not even touch the surface. What people fail to understand is the license fee is there to pay for everything that no commercial company would EVER pay for. It does things that benefit the very fabric of society that simply wouldn’t exist if they were fully commercial. After all if it was viable to do so someone would already be doing it and making money out of it.

    The BBC do a lot wrong and need to put that right but all these people saying “lets have adverts” or “make it subscription only” so miss the point it’s not funny. If ever there was a manifestation of throwing the baby out with the bathwater then that’s it

    1. Avatar photo anon says:

      >It does things that benefit the very fabric of society that simply wouldn’t exist if they were fully commercial.

      Name some. Go on, I dare you.

    2. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      They don’t need to list them, it’s public information. Do your research.

      Doesn’t matter if they are listed, there are too many people fixated with avoid paying a license fee with usual claim of not watching any content (yawn) to be able to want to understand.

      They think the content will still appear on Sky and don’t realise the streamers have already started their subscription increases because they are now realising they cannot sustain their introductory rates. One of the last few things left that is a British corporation and does British content, yet some people inherent on destroying it. Probably some of them the same people that would vote Brexit (and that is meant as to ‘retain Britishness’ not political leave vs remain debate)

      I don’t use any of my council tax, only the bins. Can I avoid paying that? Can I avoid paying part of my income tax into education for other people’s brats when I don’t have any? Thought not…

    3. Avatar photo anon says:

      >They don’t need to list them, it’s public information. Do your research.

      So you can’t. Got it.

    4. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      No, people shouldn’t have to do the donkey work for the uneducated who can’t be bothered. Got better things to do, as you would still be obsessed/fixated with license fee avoidance to suit your personal agenda.

    5. Avatar photo Optimist says:

      The BBC should earn its living in the market place just as other providers do – by subscriptions, advertising revenue or a combination of the two. A licence to fund one provider payable by customers of other providers is totally wrong – it is no more justified than being forced to pay for a copy of the Guardian when buying the Telegraph or Daily Mail.

      We are all aware of the Californian couple making millions by slagging off their relatives and the people of the United Kingdom. As it is carried by a streaming service those who don’t subscribe are not really concerned, but had it been commissioned by the BBC demanding money from the public to fund these grifters the reaction would have been different.

  32. Avatar photo anon says:

    >No, people shouldn’t have to do the donkey work for the uneducated who can’t be bothered.

    The burden of proof was he you that asserted that the BBC benefit the UK, not me who denied that they didn’t.

    It’s literally your job to prove it.

  33. Avatar photo Patran says:

    I saw a really interesting tweet from this website and thought I’d read it. The website is really interesting but oh my the level of boomer toxicity in the comments is a sight to behold and I’ll try to avoid polluting my eyes with any other comment streams here. It’s just as bad as twitter, though I suspect a lot of you use Parler instead.

  34. Avatar photo Stephen West says:

    I’m a TV / Satellite installer and have been in the trade for over 35 years, last 14 years as an aerial /satellite installer previous on repairs workshop based.
    This is just not possible to switch off over air reception / satellite it will take decades before properties in Cornwall will have a enough broadband speed to cope with.
    This is trying to be forced through by people that have no idea on the logistical problems
    to implement.
    It’s a common problem I get asked all the time, why does it freeze on online services.
    FM Radio switch has been delayed, good job to, please take note.

    PS. I’m all for it going totally on line when it’s reliable, that’s inevitable, but would
    you board a plane that might have intermittent navigation?

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