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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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Saturday, 19 February 2011

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 38,905 posts GB flag
Andrew Brown
10:59 PM

This is not a U-turn. He hasn't said anything new.

It was always intended that FM would continue, but that the main BBC and some other national channels would move off FM and transmit on DAB only. No mention of a change there.


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Andrew Brown's 1 post GB flag
Sunday, 20 February 2011

7:08 AM

Andrew Brown: It is a change. The Digital Economy Act says that commercial radio will move off FM, and be left for community radio.

This is a clear change.

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Briantist's 38,905 posts GB flag
shaun jones
8:43 AM

I own internet commercial radio stations in the uk the only hit music radio in Bristol and a uk based gold station southsound radio and southsound gold and we are growing everyday with the demise of DJ's on a local scale and with the switch off of FM I was hoping for more power we are on multi platforms like android and ifones freview+, so there are lots we started since GWR in Bristol shut down then there was no hit music in the Bristol area. so with our advertisers and people tuning in we have over 200.000 each month

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shaun jones's 3 posts GB flag

8:46 AM

shaun jones: I will have a look via the TuneIn Radio - Android Market app.

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Briantist's 38,905 posts GB flag
Monday, 21 February 2011
10:23 AM

I live off Lower Cherwell Street in Banbury & my son bought me a new radio. The DAB does not work. Where he lives in Stewkley, it worked perfect. I have similar problems with my TV and often lose channels for weeks at a time. The area is awful for reception as I pick up the Bretch Hill Scanner.

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Pauline's 6 posts GB flag
Pauline's: mapP's Freeview map terrainP's terrain plot wavesP's frequency data P's Freeview Detailed Coverage

12:57 PM

Pauline: You should get DAB from the Oxford transmitter to your south. If your indoor aerial is poor for DAB, you can fit a small DAB aerial to the roof to improve reception.

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Briantist's 38,905 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 22 February 2011

7:07 AM

Terry: I have a DAB radio that works perfectly in any form of transport: car, bus, train. It uses two AAA batteries that last for ages.

It is certainly better than an FM radio on the move with the awful static and fade effects.

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Briantist's 38,905 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 23 February 2011
David Pinfold

5:44 PM

Pauline - I also live in Banbury in the Austin Drive area, probably about the best place in Banbury to receieve the Oxford (Beckley) transmitter. Even up here I have had to have had an roof top aerial fitted to receive a decent signal. In truth if you have broadband internet you may as well stream radio through your PC. The sound quality will be at least as good with a larger variety of stations to choose from....

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David Pinfold's 42 posts GB flag
David's: mapD's Freeview map terrainD's terrain plot wavesD's frequency data D's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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