Digital radio switchover on track for 2015By Ben Fenton, Chief Media CorrespondentJuly 7 2010The government will confirm on Thursday that it is to press ahead with the timetable for the switchover to digital radio broadcasting by 2015, as foreseen by the last administration.No date for switching off FM and AM transmitters was set out in the Digital Economy Act that went through parliament in the last days of Gordon Brown’s government.But in a speech on Thursday, Ed Vaizey, the culture minister, will confirm that the government will move along the same timescale, in spite of an acknowledgement that this will make him unpopular. Although the move has the support of the bulk of commercial radio operators, some companies, together with consumer groups and politicians, have voiced strong doubts about what they see as a hurried schedule.In March the House of Lords communications committee expressed reservations about the plans, saying they were “not convinced that listener and consumer behaviour will follow the same path as digital television”. The switch-off of analogue signals for television broadcast will be completed by early 2013 and has so far gone smoothly and come in well under budget.Opponents of switching off the FM and AM signals say that the cost to consumers will run into the billions, that the existing signal is superior in both quality and the geographical extent of coverage and that the cost of converting cars to DAB, the digital radio standard, will be £300 each. Although there is unlikely to be a date announced for switching off the analogue radio signal, commercial companies and the BBC will be barred from using it.When originally proposed in the Digital Britain report by Lord Carter, the switchover date was not set but it said that a two-year lead-up period to switching off the analogue signal would not begin until stringent criteria for the breadth and quality of coverage had been met. This was thought likely to have happened by 2015. Unlike the ending of the analogue television signal, there is no “digital dividend” from turning off FM and AM, which will in some cases continue to be used for ultra-local stations, because the part of the broadcasting spectrum they used has very limited alternative use.
07 luglio 2010
Governo UK conferma: radio analogica off nel 2015
Secondo le anticipazioni del Financial Times, domani il ministro britannico della cultura Ed Vaizey confermerà il piano che prevede nel Regno Unito lo spegnimento della radio analogica nel 2015, anche se è una scelta che potrebbe risultare molto impopolare e non darà ricadute in termini di frequenze da vendere/riassegnare ad altri servizi.