The Consumer Expert Group has today published a highly critical report on DAB, titled Digital Radio Switchover: what is in it for consumers?
The report to the Minister explains the current problems with the lack of growth in digital radio, and a set of recommendations to resolve them.
The report says an urgent cost benefit analysis needs to be carried out, and the take-up criteria should compare like for like listening platforms and should therefore measure DAB only, rather than include Digital TV and the internet.
Also, with regards to the possible switch-over target, the report says it should be announced when 30 per cent or less of listening is via analogue platforms, suggesting that the 50 per cent criteria is wrong.
Support of DAB+ is evident, saying the road-map must include plans for format: "DAB+ compatible chips must be installed as standard to “future-proof” receivers as a matter of urgency," and that no switchover should take place until DAB has been standard in cars for a least two years.
The group also points out that Digital Radio UK is an industry body and therefore acts in commercial interests rather than the interests of the listener.
The owner of UKRD, William Rogers, welcomes the report: "Item after item in this report highlights the mess we’ve been going on about for years and it represents a great opportunity for the Government to take a fresh look at this and start to bring some sanity and common sense to the DAB debate."