Responses to Ofcom’s consultation to change the Digital Radio Technical Code to introduce DAB+ are now in.
Questions in the document ask if the introduction of DAB+ is a good idea, and whether Traffic Announcements should be carried via DAB along with other technical questions. DAB+ is included in the minimum specification for any new radio sets which are sold in the UK, as revealed last December.
There were 13 respondents in total, including the BBC, Bauer Media, UTV, Global Radio and Arqiva.
Arqiva, owner of the first and only national commercial DAB multiplex wants to be assured the second national multiplex owner had the same rules on DAB+ as the first. The transmission company also wants confirmation on the 30% limit for DAB+ services – whether that’s in addition to the current 30% permitted use for data services or instead of.
The BBC supports the proposal of including the DAB+ standard as an option for broadcasters but is unclear why Ofcom has proposed to limit the total multiplex capacity that could be occupied by DAB+. “We would argue that, where a sound business and public interest case is made by an applicant for the second national commercial radio multiplex licence, there should be no limit on the capacity allocated to DAB+ services.”
Global Radio is also in favour of using DAB, but wants Ofcom not to favour proposals for D2 which have more DAB+ services than others, indicating the Heart and Capital owner may be applying for the second multiplex without an initial DAB+ offerings.
UTV also supports the introduction of DAB but believes the limit on percentage of DAB+ services should be set by the multiplex operator. “We believe that service providers are best placed to make the commercial judgement as to the merits (or otherwise) of whether or not to launch new services using DAB or DAB+.”
Here are some additional quotes:
“Digital Radio UK strongly supports the proposal to include DAB+ in the technical code and as an option for the second national commercial multiplex”
“Bauer is in favour of DAB+ becoming a permitted standard in the UK”.
“World DMB believes that DAB+ is the future of digital radio and so welcomes the proposal to allow the introduction of DAB+ in the UK.”
The Voice of the Listener & Viewer are “broadly supportive of the proposals”
Out of the two confidentail replies, one is in support and the other says: “DAB+ should not be used at all, until a large number of compatible radio sets are in the field, maybe a replacement system to swap sets to dab+”.