Thursday, 26 September 2013

Dab+ and the future of local radio

I have taken up the issue of the transition from of radio from analogue to digital following the move with television. Many people will have a DAB digital radio but radio is still broadcast unlike TV on analogue through FM, medium wave and long wave frequencies.

The switch date still remains 2015 however there are numerous issues that are a cause for concern. From the poor sales of digital only radios to the number of legacy analogue radios still in use.

A major issue is that of small radio stations who will not find available bandwidth on the DAB only frequencies. In Hyndburn we have or have had four local radio stations with scope for more. 2BR and 107 The Bee, Rossendale Radio ( 1  2 ) and the occasional Accrington Asian Radio Station which broadcasts from Blackburn Road. Local radio is important the bandwidth should not be allowed to be taken up by the large radio providers.

All of which are vulnerable to being left on legacy analogue radio which even if it is not turned off, will still have a dwindling audience as DAB sales increase with the DAB switch over. There is a campaign to introduce DAB+ which will allow for more radio stations on digital radio.

I have consistently taken up this issue and received two further replies from the minister (following on from previous correspondence) which both address the issue but which declines to commit the government to the introduction of DAB+ but instead looks to local technological solution to extending DAB for the purpose of including local radio .