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Students join digital debate

The Student Radio Association has expressed its concerns over the Analogue Radio Scrappage Scheme, which made headlines recently in the mainstream media.

And despite its contribution to the FM and AM spectrum, the student radio community has not yet been invited to the table to discuss their ambitions with regard to the future of analogue radio.

The scrappage scheme, just one idea being considered by Digital Radio UK, is thought to offer consumers the opportunity to exchange their analogue set for a discounted DAB radio.

The SRA joins other radio groups in what was branded as ridiculous and a nonsense by UKRD and TLRC boss William Rogers.

Tim Dye, Chair of the Student Radio Association told RadioToday.co.uk: "Student radio is a unique feature of the UK radio landscape – it is almost entirely free of rigid formats and commercial pressures. As a result, student radio has become a hugely respected platform, from which world‐renowned bands, DJs, radio presenters and other media professionals have launched their careers. The ramifications of an analogue ‘switch‐off’ are huge, and as yet we’ve been offered no viable alternative."

The Student Radio Association shares the aspirations of the Community Media Association with regard to the Digital Economy Bill – in particular that the existing FM spectrum is released to smaller community broadcasters as commercial groups move to DAB. “DAB isn’t a “one size fits all” solution,” says Sarah Ghost, Secretary of the Student Radio Association: "Smaller broadcasters, like our members, feel that they’re being railroaded towards a digital future where they currently have no place.

"DAB simply isn't right for many of these stations financially.”

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