Radio commerciali UK: spegnere l’analogico

Il Daily Telegraph e altri quotidiani britannici riportano in questi giorni l’esortazione, da parte di Andrew Harrison del RadioCentre all’adozione di un calendario più rigoroso, che preveda lo switch off della radio analogica AM/FM entro il 2015


da Radio Passioni

Per quell’epoca le abitazioni inglesi saranno collegate a Internet con la larga banda, avranno televisori digitali, iPod ogni sorta di diavoleria, sostiene Harrison. A quel punto solo una radio completamente digitale riuscirà a competere.
RadioCentre sta esercitando una lobby piuttosto intensa in favore del DAB e degli altri sistemi digitali. Il mese scorso Harrison aveva fatto dichiarazioni molto simili a quelle oggi citate dal Telegraph. L’associazione ha appena chiuso, a Londra, la manifestazione The Digital Radio Show. Ricordiamo che l’OFCOM ha in effetti richiesto di commentare l’iniziativa Future of Radio e ha già preso in considerazione la possibilità di imporre lo spegnimento delle trasmissioni analogiche entro un lasso di tempo relativamente breve. Ma il Telegraph sottolinea: c’è anche chi considera il digitale radiofonico inutile o addirittura inferiore.

Radio companies call for AM and FM switch-off by 2015
By Juliette Garside
Sunday Telegraph
24 June 2007
(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2007/06/24/cnradio124.xml)
Britain’s commercial radio companies are lobbying for the FM and AM radio signals to be switched off, leaving listeners forced to tune in via digital radio sets or the internet. The nation’s network of terrestrial TV transmitters is due to be shut down in just four years’ time. Now, the radio companies want the AM and FM signals to follow suit, with some broadcasters calling for a shutdown as early as 2015. The radio companies claim that their medium will be left behind unless the government orders a cut-off date.
But the move is likely to spark a debate about whether listeners should be forced to junk their old radios and upgrade to a technology many see as unnecessary, or even inferior. Industry body the RadioCentre will write to communications watchdog Ofcom next week calling for the regulator to set a date. Chief executive Andrew Harrison said: “If you’ve got every home wired up to broadband, every home with a digital TV, everyone with a 3G phone and an iPod, the traditional analogue radio is going to look very old-fashioned. In five years’ time Britain will be a digital economy, and radio should play its role in that.” Digital radio sets allow users to pause and rewind live radio, and receive news and traffic alerts in text form across a built-in screen. Ultimately, radio transmitters will be able to send images to go with the sounds, and listeners will be able to buy music or download programmes over the airwaves.
British radio companies are spending £20m a year on digital radio services.
But they argue shareholders will withdraw support for that investment unless a cut-off date is named. John Myers, chief executive of GMG Radio, which broadcasts the Saga and Smooth stations, believes the move should happen as early as 2015. But he conceded that it was a politically sensitive decision. “We are being held up by a lack of vision from ministers. “
While digital TV has had powerful champions in BSkyB and Freeview, only 16 per cent of radio listening is via a digital platform. These include DAB, which is broadcast through aerials, the internet, and radio over the TV. The BBC is not in a hurry to name a date. It will tell Ofcom’s consultation on the future of radio that it wants a cross industry working party, and a review in 2010.

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