Feeds

Lords: Analogue radio must die

Cash for trannies scheme, more ads

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Digital radio isn't great and the public doesn't want it, but you're going to get it anyway. So recommends the House of Lords Communications Committee today.

90 per cent of the UK listens to radio, and 94 per cent of listeners are happy with what they've got. The Lords accept most of the points made by critics of DAB and the Digital Switchover, noting: "The gradual rate of take-up of digital radio services does not suggest that consumers are enticed by the reception quality, extra functionality or the digital-only content so far available."

How about something better, then?

"To go back on this policy now would risk turning confusion into an utter shambles" they write in a new report (pdf).

So the Lordships recommend everyone get on with the Digital Switchover. They advise implementing the Digital Radio Working Group's (DRWG) recommendation to build out DAB coverage so it reaches 94 per cent of the population, but don't say who how it should be funded. Both the BBC and the commercial broadcasters want extra cash for this. But the Lords duck this issue.

Punters will be browbeaten into buying a digital set, when an analogue one would do, we're told:

"The Government must ensure that advice goes to retailers and the public that when purchasing radios, consumers should purchase sets that include a digital tuner."

That's the stick. But there may be a carrot. The Lords back a cash-for-trannies scheme, so perfectly good FM radios can be traded in.

"The Government should encourage the industry to devise a sensible scrappage scheme, recognising that the industry, manufacturers and retailers, will benefit heavily from the new sales generated by digital switchover." They also advise "the Government inform consumers as soon as possible as to how the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations will operate for disposal of analogue radios".

Another recommendation is for car manufacturers to fit a multistandard chip, ASAP. It isn't clear whether multistandard chip here means digital and analogue, or the different flavours of digital radio: DAB, DAB+, DVB-T too.

Anyone hoping a timetable for DAB+ implementation would be part of the deal will be disappointed. The Lordships say too much has been invested by the public in DAB, but advise a timetable for multistandard radios to be produced. In other words, the public will have to invest even more in obsolete radios.

It's everything the DAB lobby could have hoped for - short of a blank cheque. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.