Digital Radio Working Group Report

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Dear all

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.

Press Release:

DRWG Report

We would like to wish you all a very happy festive season and send you our
best wishes


Jaqui Devereux

Community Media Association

3 Responses to “Digital Radio Working Group Report”

  1. tebaylei

    Living in a not too remote part of Cumbria, I cannot get any “useable” fm radio and have a broadband connection so slow and unstable that listening online is impossible.
    How many other people are there that will not be able to listen to radio at all if the AM signal is stopped?
    The only reasonable way that I feel that AM and some FM radio could be switched entirely to digital would involve building a huge number of new masts.
    To whomever is responsible, Please don’t turn off my radio!

  2. ross@glastonburyradio

    Community stations should start to look at online broadcasting as a viable option. Unlike past “bedroom run” stations, there are now some very good local community stations broadcasting online to larger audiences, and we at Glastonbury Radio will hopefully soon be joined by a former Radio One DJ who will be doing a weekly show for us.

    Cars, coaches and trains are being fitted with Internet Wifi and soon people will be able to listen to online radio almost everywhere. Also advertisers love the high response rate and thus running costs can be covered by advertising and sponsorship.

    Ross Hemsworth
    Managing Director
    Glastonbury Radio

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