English Digital Broadcasting (EDB) is the name of the government licensed provider of multiple television channels to the Republic Of England.
In 1975 the Radical-Socialist Coalition Government of the Republic Of England (ROE) introduced the Multiple Television and Radio Channels Act in the National Assembly. The Act allowed the creation of a then unspecified number of “themed” television channels and radio stations which would be available across the Republic.
The Act was introduced as a response to the perceived dominance of the two largest television channel groups in the Republic, specifically the English Broadcasting Company (EBC) and Independent Television Consortia (ITC).
The two groups between them controlled all television transmissions in the Republic and had done so since television launched in the Republic in 1926.
By 1972 the then English National Party-English People's Party Coalition government was openly critical of the perceived anti-right wing bias of both the EBC which ostensibly was under government control and ITC who relied upon the government agency the Independent Television Authority (ITA) for their licences to broadcast.
The government believed that by increasing the range of channels available in the Republic the influence of the EBC and ITC would be lessened.
Officially the EBC and ITC protested that they were not biased against the government even taking out full page adverts in many English newspapers stating this.
The general elections of 1973 which led to respectively a hung assembly (March) and a Radical-Socialist minority government (September) meant that any legislation was forgotten.
However by 1975 act was reintroduced although the government denied there was any desire to curtail the power of the EBC and ITC. Indeed the Postmaster General Anthony Wedgwood Benn whose department was responsible for Television and Radio transmissions in the Republic stated at the Bill's first reading on the 21st of July 1975:
“I can assure honourable members on all sides of the assembly that this bill is not an attack on our television service. This act is to augment what is currently available and increase choice and independence”
Despite heated exchanges in the Assembly, the act was made law in February 1976.