Many countries ensure that high quality media content is available to all citizens. This public policy objective includes obligations for PSM providers to produce content and services, and make them universally available and free at the point of reception.
Free-to-air (FTA) distribution is one of the principal means of fulfilling the universal service obligation and in many countries it is a legal obligation for PSM organisations. In some countries free-to-air distribution of PSB services is a constitutional requirement, in others it is defined e.g. in the Broadcasting Act, or in the PSM remit, or possibly in the licence conditions.