Skip to content

Amendment to the Act on Electronic Communications Services circulated for comments: Aim to waive must-carry obligation for radio

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 21.2.2024 11.28 | Published in English on 22.2.2024 at 14.27
Press release
Radiomasto lumisessa metsämaisemassa auringonpaisteessa.
Radio mast in a winter landscape. (Image: Juha Tuomi)

The Ministry of Transport and Communications invites comments on the government proposal for amending the Act on Electronic Communication Services. The must-carry obligation to transfer radio programmes would be removed from the act. The deadline for submitting comments is 15 March 2024.

The current must-carry obligation requires telecom operators providing cable television network services to transmit the television and radio programming of the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE in their networks. In addition, it obliges the administrators of joint antenna networks, such as housing companies, to ensure that the YLE television and radio broadcasts are available in their systems.

The Government proposal would eliminate the must-carry obligation with regard to YLE’s radio programmes. Although the obligation only applies to YLE, the distribution of commercial radio is likely to end at the same time. No other changes are proposed to the must-carry regulation.

The distribution of radio on cable television networks limits the development of cable broadband services and the use of the network, as it prevents more efficient frequency allocation and the transition to newer technologies. A significant number of households use broadband services, which rely on cable networks. At the end of 2022, about 530,000 households had broadband access.

Very few people, on the other hand, listen to cable radio. The removal of the must-carry obligation is likely to affect around 25,500 to 50,000 households. Most commonly, people listen to the radio through antenna distribution or via the internet.

In addition, the Government proposal proposes that the previously fixed-term partial ban on the telemarketing of mobile phone subscriptions and the preservation of the confidentiality of radio communications be made valid until further notice.

The proposal also includes a few technical amendments to the Act on Electronic Communications Services concerning the revocation of radio licences, the amount of the radio and television broadcasting supervision fee, the specific tasks of the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency and the market-based spectrum fee.

Development of emergency warning communication important

Removing the must-carry obligation for radio may have an impact on emergency warning communication. Emergency warning communication is based on multi-channel communication. Radio is one of the channels that transmit emergency warnings. As a result of the change, cable radio listeners would need to use an alternative distribution channel to receive radio.

It is estimated that most cable radio listeners will switch to receiving the radio via antenna distribution when the distribution of radio in cable TV networks ends. According to the general instructions of the authorities, in order to prepare for various emergencies and abnormal situations, all households should purchase a battery-operated radio with spare batteries.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications considers it essential that a project be launched under the leadership of the Ministry of the Interior for the development of emergency warning communication as soon as possible. The Ministry of the Interior is responsible for emergency warning communication as a whole.

Next steps

Comments can be submitted until 15 March 2024. All organisations and private individuals may submit comments online at After the consultation process, the preparations will continue by public officials as part of their regular duties.


Eero Salojärvi, Director of Unit, eero.salojarvi(at), tel. +358 295 342 123

Sini Wirén, Director General, sini.wiren(at), tel. +358 295 342 532