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Another government U-Turn - this time on FM local radio?

Broadcasting Minister Ed Vaizey told MPs that FM will be retained for local commercial radio.

Broadcasting Minister Ed Vaizey told MPs that FM will be retain
published on UK Free TV

Just in case you thought that the Forests were the only government u-turn this week, you might have missed this in Radio Today:

Broadcast Minister Ed Vaizey has confirmed to a group of MPs that the FM waveband will not be switched off and will remain as one of a number of multi platform transmission options for local commercial radio.

Almost twenty MPs from across the UK met with the Minister, and the Secretary of State who was also present, to express their concerns about the implications of Government policy on local radio and expressed strong support for their respective local stations and their desire to see them prosper and flourish in the future.

William Rogers, Chief Executive of UKRD, said he was delighted with the outcome of the meeting and expressed his thanks and appreciation to all the MPs who attended to press the case for "critically important reviews" in key areas of policy.

"We need a dynamic and vibrant local radio sector with a bright and genuinely multi-platform digital future. Of course DAB is one of many such platforms but the prescriptive, poorly planned and inappropriate imposition of this single platform simply gets in the way of what consumer choice is all about." [said Rogers]


It is not clear if this means that local radio can still simulcast, or that only the areas without DAB multiplexes can retain FM.

It is also unclear if BBC Local Radio will also be retained on FM in areas without local DAB multiplexes.



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Comments
Friday, 18 February 2011
M
michael
sentiment_satisfiedGold

9:15 AM

One good U-turn deserves another. It looks as if more flexibility will be forthcoming. Perhaps pragmatism will deliver DAB in major population areas and along motorway corridors - and continued FM for the rest of us.

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michael's 851 posts GB
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

12:12 PM

michael: This ONLY refers to commercial local radio, I presume for those areas where we have already highlighted on DAB local radio gaps | ukfree.tv - independent free digital TV advice .

link to this comment
Briantist's 38,846 posts GB
T
Terry
5:14 PM

... I have a radio with DAB and FM... I have found that I cannot listen to DAB broadcasts for more than a few minutes as the sound irritates with its cold, digital sterility... FM is warmer, richer and way more natural for voice and music. So presumably if the better listening experience is getting booted in to touch we'll be without BBC's Radio 2, 3 & 4?

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Terry's 17 posts GB
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

5:16 PM

Terry: It depends where you are, most people find that FM is full of static and other interference and DAB transmissions are stable, reliable and fault-free.

It could be that you have simply acclimatised to the FM system.

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Briantist's 38,846 posts GB
M
Michael Bane
sentiment_satisfiedBronze

5:41 PM

Will Radio Bristol for example be just on FM as now or will it be on DAB as well?

link to this comment
Michael Bane's 33 posts GB
T
Terry
6:12 PM

Hi Briantist... thanks for the reply but it's not acclimatisation! I think that all things being equal with good reception on DAB and FM, FM is a better quality listen by far.

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Terry's 17 posts GB
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

6:47 PM

Michael Bane: It isn't clear what this means.

What I suspect it means is that if there are parts of the country that keep local radio on FM due to no local DAB coverage, then this won't stop the national DAB switchover.

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Briantist's 38,846 posts GB
A
andy
sentiment_satisfiedBronze

7:32 PM
Chester

DAB. Disappointing Audio Broadcasts

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andy's 42 posts GB
A
Alan
sentiment_satisfiedBronze

11:10 PM
Eastbourne

Funny, I'm hard of hearing and wear hearing aids (unfortunatly),and love music, I find (on our radio at least) DAD far better for me, but, the problem is we have long periods when DAB's keeps breaking up and have to revert to FM, I hope the before the switch over they sort out the problem by increasing the strength of the signal.


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Alan's 23 posts GB
Saturday, 19 February 2011
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

7:33 AM

Alan: The intention is that DAB coverage will be improved, but as far as I know there are no plans for improvements in the Eastbourne area this year.

It is a great shame for you, I have a small cheap DAB radio and it works perfectly everywhere in Brighton and Hove.

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Briantist's 38,846 posts GB
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