Insights Ofcom consults on proposed changes to digital television and digital radio technical codes


The digital television and digital radio technical codes provide a set of technical standards for broadcasters that are primarily designed to ensure viewers and listeners receive Freeview and Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) services without interference. Ofcom routinely updates these codes to ensure the rules remain relevant as the digital broadcasting environment develops.

Following separate incidents affecting the operations of the Bilsdale TV and radio transmitter and a broadcast centre in London, a number of the proposed changes seek to strengthen requirements relating to network resilience and disaster recovery.

Ofcom is proposing to require:

  • TV multiplex operators to provide regular updates to Ofcom on their progress towards meeting the recommendations set out in its Bilsdale fire incident report; this included a recommendation to promptly review the adequacy of their plans for recovering services in the event of a major incident, as well as those in place to support and communicate with affected viewers and listeners;
  • Digital radio multiplex operators to consider the technical resilience of their services and to have proportionate service continuity plans in place; and
  • Channel 3, Channel 4 and Channel 5 licensees to assign the same priority to the resilience of access services, such as subtitling, signing and audio description, as they do to vision and sound.

The deadline for responding to the proposals is 20 February 2023. To access the consultation, click here.