DRM Asks UK Communications Committee for a Second Look

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The DRM Consortium has released the contents of a letter it recently tendered to the UK government's influential communications committee, chaired by Lord Fowler, which asks the body to reconsider its current digital transition plan. That roadmap, part of the Digital Britain Act recently adopted in parliament, has a controversial timetable for the shutdown of national analog radio channels that could come as early as 2015.

Lord Fowler himself has urged caution toward the so-called analog sunset, because it could jeopardize citizen access to radio by those who can't or won't purchase new radios. Others have expressed concern that smaller community broadcasters, many of which are now on FM, will likewise be unable to afford the high cost of carriage on a DAB multiplex.

In essence, DRM's letter urges the committee to consider small scale, single-point digital solutions for those broadcasters unable to make the jump to DAB, such as DRM 30 for supplanting existing analog AM and DRM + for FM using existing spectrum, bandwidth and allocations.

No comment yet from the Communications Committee.

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