Panel skeptical about timing of UK


Plans to close the book on analog FM radio service in the United Kingdom in favor of an entirely-digital broadcast platform are being criticized as too ambitious by a government consumer panel. A target date of 2015 is seen as unrealistic.

According to UK’s Telegraph Media, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Consumer Expert Group, UK citizens are not sold on the switchover, and are totally unprepared for the switch in terms of having the proper receivers.

It’s estimated that 100M home-based and 30M vehicle-based analog receivers would be rendered obsolete by the transition.

The transition is much trickier than that accomplished already for broadcast television because radio lacks MVPD distribution platforms, and therefore lacks the set-top boxes that allowed people to switch from analog to digital television sets at their own pace.

The CEG did not say what date would be a good target for an FM digital conversion – it simply noted that 2015 was too soon.