U.K. to Refarm FM?

This appears to be a first: British broadcast regulator Ofcom is floating the idea of using FM radio spectrum to provide wireless broadband access in rural areas.

The United Kingdom is nearly 20 years into an attempted digital radio transition. It (and much of the rest of the developed world) has adopted a digital broadcast technology that uses spectrum outside the AM and FM bands. However, the development of digital radio is as stalled (or worse) in the U.K. at it is in the United States. Read More

U.K. DAB Policy Goes Back to the Future

Grant Goddard, the go-to analyst on all things related to digital radio in the United Kingdom, penned a post this week about regulators’ latest attempt to “understand” the deficiencies of digital audio broadcasting (DAB) in an ongoing effort to “correct” them.

Here’s the kicker: this will require the intensive study of analog FM radio. The exercise’s apparent goal is to provide some sort of benchmark-metric for explaining why DAB’s proliferation has not lived up to expectations. Read More

Norway: New Vanguard of Digital Radio?

Last month, the Norwegian Culture Ministry published a report calling for the turnoff of all analog radio broadcast services in the country by 2017.

Domestic boosters of the plan claim that the switch to the Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) protocol represents “a tool for democratization and a vast increase in choice.” Although DMB is a different technology than HD Radio, the U.S. digital radio broadcasting standard, both suffer from a technologically-agnostic failure to provide qualitative improvements to existing analog radio service. Read More