§ Mr. Gordon Prentice
To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage (1) if she will make it her policy to accelerate the introduction of digital terrestrial broadcasting in those rural and semi-rural areas which are not cabled; 
(2) by what date digital terrestrial broadcasting is to reach 95 per cent. of the population of England. 
§ Mr. Sproat
The Broadcasting Bill, announced in Her Majesty's Gracious Speech, will provide the legislative framework for the introduction of digital terrestrial television services. The Government propose that those who wish to provide these services be required to meet targets, set by the Independent Television Commission, for making them available by a specific time to a specified proportion of the population. The precise potential coverage of the available digital frequencies, and the speed and pattern of the introduction of services on them, will vary, and it is not possible as yet to predict the outcome of the licensing process the Bill will propose to introduce.