Campaigners against the 2015 digital radio switchover date may have scored a
According to the Press Association, Communications Minister Ed Vaizey will
announce at the Intellect Digital Home Conference that the Government is to
press ahead with a switchover to digital radio – but will shy away from setting
He will say the FM signal should be switched off when “the weight of public
Mr Vaizey will announce that a decision will not be made until half of all radio
listening is via digital sources.
Figures from radio industry audience body Rajar show that around 24% is
currently via digital.
The LibDem coalition government minister is to publish a Digital Radio Action
Plan encouraging listeners to make the switch. This will involve building DAB
coverage, which only covers about 90% of the population, and a cost-benefit
analysis of the changeover.
Vaizey’s statement will confirm what many radio listener groups have been saying
ever since the analogue switch-off was proposed: “Listeners need to be persuaded
that the content on offer is compelling, that the quality is high and that
digital radios, at home or in the car, are affordable and have listening quality
that is at least as good as FM.
“I am not setting a date. The industry believes 2015 is an achievable target
date and we will work to support that ambition. And when the weight of public
opinion is behind it, with more than half of all radio listening digital, then
we can take the decision on when the country will be ready for switchover.”
New research claims to show broadcasting digitally is more energy efficient than
analogue. It suggests that transmitting Classic FM nationally via DAB uses less
than 7% of the electricity needed to transmit it via FM.
[ Press Association via guardian.co.uk ]