UK MPs call for spectrum for local TV

A group of 80 UK members of parliament have called on the government to introduce a new network of local TV channels on the Freeview digital-terrestrial platform and cable.

The group’s motion, sponsored by Labour MP Austin Mitchell, calls on the government to ensure that “all citizens have access to a dedicated channel on both Freeview and cable, providing local news, local discussion, community programming and local advertising.”

Mitchell said the government and regulator Ofcom needed to take a fresh look at the issue and allow time for some trials of local TV. He pointed out that, despite an earlier discussion document identifying local TV as a possible use for spectrum, not a single channel for local news or community programming had been allocated space.