The country has taken one step further towards a digital radio switchover with the publication of the Digital Britain report. The government fully endorsing the recommendations made by the Digital Radio Working Group (DRWG) in their report last year.
Digital Britain says that the government is committed to “a bold digital migration plan that involves all the parties to take the majority of listening from FM to DAB as soon as possible.” In exchange for a clear plan from industry to drive the migration to digital the Government has proposed a series of initiatives to ease the transition.
Plans include digital migration for all national and local radio services to DAB via a series of local multiplexes. Initiatives, which could bring forward the 2015 timetable already set for the switchover. Plus liaising with the BBC to extend their digital radio coverage to at least replicate current FM analogue coverage.
The report has been warmly welcomed by broadcasters and manufacturers across the digital radio chain. Tony Moretta, chief executive, Digital Radio Development Bureau, says: “According to the latest RAJAR figures, DAB delivers almost six times the number of listening hours of internet radio. There is much to be done to meet the criteria for migration, and we will be working closely with our partners – broadcasters and manufacturers – to achieve the goals set out in this report as quickly as possible.”
Says Leslie Burrage, Chief Executive at ROBERTS: “Today’s announcement simply confirms our sentiments from the outset. From the beginning we have identified the need to drive radio to digital, via a closer working relationship between the Government, broadcasters, Ofcom and manufacturers alike. The Government’s commitment to DAB, as outlined in its digital migration plan, now gives all parties a common goal to work towards and at ROBERTS we are keen to get going!”
Colin Crawford, PURE’s director of marketing added: "The government’s endorsement of the DRWG report is great news for UK radio listeners and British Industry which leads the way in this field. PURE, as one of the key innovators in the DAB industry, is looking forward to fulfilling the increased demand that this endorsement is bound to generate."