Please find below links to the Press Release and full Digital Radio
Working Group report.
While the report does not cover community radio in as much detail as we
would like, there is a commitment to ensuring that small radio (both
community and small commercial) will be supported in the future,
including preparing a longer term plan for its migration.
There is NO intention in the foreseeable future for switching off FM -
not least because at present there is not enough room on existing
multiplexes for the BBC and commercial national channels, also because
of the population and geographic coverage issues. Re the possibility
that AM may be switched off for analogue radio, we will continue to work
with government to ensure that if that happens, there can be a smooth
and facilitated (technology, cost of changing transmitters etc) transfer
for community stations currently on AM. We are acutely aware of how
this may affect some of you, and we will be seeking your views as a
matter of urgency so that we can put these to the government.
The CMA as you know does not believe that the current digital audio
standard, DAB, is suitable for community radio.
Also DAB current coverage and quality will need to improve before the
national channels will migrate. It is almost certain that over the next
ten years the DAB standard will change, as technology advances and
compression codecs improve. Also as the car manufacturers need to
build in radios that can pick up stations both on digital and analogue
and across Europe – in which many countries are not adopting DAB as
their standard. Car radios may well in the end have to be multi-chip.
We will continue working with DCMS, Ofcom and the wider industry to
ensure that 1) community radio remains firmly in planning for the
future and 2) those plans address the technological and affordability
needs of community radio – e.g. smaller footprint, hybrid radios so that
people can move easily between digital and analogue radio channels.
We welcome your comments on the report. Please feedback your
comments using this website.
We would like to wish you all a very happy festive season and send you our
Community Media Association