Warning that large numbers of radio listeners could be left without service, a report issued by a British government advisory board maintains that the government’s 2015 target date for completion of the nationwide switch to digital radio “should be revised upwards as 2015 is realistically far too early.” The report in which that recommendation appears was authored by the Consumer Expert Group (CEG), a body that was created originally by the British government to advise on issues related to the nation’s transition to digital television but has since had its role expanded to cover the switchover to digital radio services. (The transition to digital television in the UK is currently underway and is expected to be finished in 2012.) First proposed in the “Digital Britain” white paper in 2009, the planned transition to digital radio services is supported by radio broadcasters who expect to receive additional bandwidth for new stations. Sources indicate, however, that the plan has met resistance from consumers who are satisfied with their current analog signals and would have to purchase new digital radios or converters to listen to music and other programming in digital format. Under the government’s plan, a full transition to digital radio would be announced when at least 50% of the nation’s population listens to radio stations in digital format. Two months ago, the government confirmed that it would proceed with the Labour Administration’s timetable for a 2015 switchover as long as sufficient numbers of listeners are capable of receiving digital signals. Affirming that only 24.6% of the population was listening to digital radio stations as of the second quarter of this year, CEG voiced concern that the current timetable would leave significant numbers of listeners without access to radio, especially in rural and other hard-to-reach areas. Urging postponement of the transition deadline beyond 2015, CEG said the government should complete the switchover date after 70% of the population listens to digital radio stations. Terming the CEG report as a “valuable contribution,” Ed Vaizey—the UK’s minister for culture, communications, and the creative industries—said, “I am pleased we share the view that any switchover to digital should be driven by listeners.”