I don’t often get hot under the collar about politics in the UK. Well not since the anti-war [in Iraq] march of 2003 was roundly ignored by the government of the day. But today I would ask you to consider campaigning to save the analogue radio signal in the UK. Did you know that until earlier today the plan was to turn it off? Today Ed Vaizey announced that the switch over date would be delayed until there is 50% uptake of digital radio. So, when only half of the country will be forced to chuck their radio’s into landfill and go and buy news ones this will be OK. I’ve written to Mr Vaizey to suggest that whilst the delay is welcome, the criteria set is inappropriate.
The only advantage that digital radio offers is greater choice – but for most UK radio listeners this is not a benefit, the UK consumer is happy with the choice (when I find the link to this survey again I’ll add it here) on FM and see no value in the mosaic of very old repeats which are quilted together to form stations such as BBC 4 Extra.
The real reason, of course, for the promotion of digital radio is to free up the FM part of the radio spectrum to sell off to mobile communications (phone) companies. So I guess if you want the choice of being so absorbed in Facebook that you walk off the end of the local pier then this campaign is not for you. But if you want decent radio reception in your car (under 5% of the UK car fleet has a DAB radio fitted) and don’t want to drop all our FM radios into landfill the consider writing to Ed Vaizey, or campaiging via SaveFM to suggest that FM is kept running at least until we have 80% uptake and the coverage matches that of the current FM system.