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RTE radio1 LW



  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Some people have always thrown the switching off FM red herring into the longwave discussion. The fact is, FM would be switched off too if only a few hundred people were listening to it like longwave but 77% of radio listening is happening in Ireland on FM so it's safe for a while yet. For context, 2FM on medium wave lasted until 2004

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,993 ✭✭✭✭elperello

    The USP of radio is that it is completely free to air.

    No licence, no subscription, no connection fees.

    Just buy your FM radio and you are good to go.

    We need to keep it like that.

    (obviously it has to be paid for but it is free at point of use)

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,398 ✭✭✭tinytobe

    So far only Norway made the switch from FM to DAB. Neither Switzerland, nor the Netherlands or the UK have switched off FM, even though Switzerland has a more than strong majority of DAB listeners.

    I am aware that in Germany the Deutschlandfunk and the Deutschlandradio are slowly phasing out FM transmitters, in favour of DAB.

    RTE would have been better off investing in decent DAB coverage across Ireland, also rural Ireland than having paid for the upkeep and the cost of LW 252.

    As early as 2002 LW radios were getting rarer and rarer in new automobiles and households. Many cars of today don't even have MW anymore, it's FM and DAB / DAB+. Even commercial operators like Atlantic 252 knew that their time would be coming, in France, RTL and Europe 1 were even longer commercially on LW but the challenges were in the end the same.

    I would suggest that BBC Radio 4 on 198 will be history by April / May 2024.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    The "save 252" campaign are still pushing on social media for 252 to be reinstated for "a couple of more years" until RTE is on dab in the UK and "elderly people" have been given help to buy dab radios. The same campaigners had previously said that dab wouldn't be an suitable alternative for LW

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,398 ✭✭✭tinytobe

    This is where the "save 252 campaign" is very wrong.

    Currently there is no legislation within the UK to allow foreign public sector and predominantly English language programmes on terrestrial radio. So the RTE would have to wait for the legislation within the UK to change and this could be a lot longer than "a couple of more years".

    However the Irish diaspora are free to start their own programme on DAB given they adhere to the legal guidelines, like the Polish community does in London.

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    In fairness, I think they know full well it could take more than a couple of years and then we'd be hearing about "elderly people" in the Scottish Highlands and Welsh valleys who can't get the dab service

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,398 ✭✭✭tinytobe

    Legally it doesn't work, unless the law in the UK is changed.

    And yes, parts of Scotland as well as Wales don't have decent DAB coverage and this includes BBC Radio. In the end, it's just a matter of one or two further DAB transmitters.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,432 ✭✭✭Tork

    It's very hard to get something back once it's gone (unless it's Neighbours) so I don't see LW getting turned back on. Their DAB argument doesn't make much sense, aside from the current legalities of RTE being broadcast in the UK. They've argued all along that the people losing out on RTE radio are very old, poor, isolated, not in touch with Irish community centres and unable to use modern technology. How do they propose getting these DAB radios to them and showing them how to use them?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,315 ✭✭✭Antenna

    Sunday Miscellany yesterday , this piece from an emigrant to Wiltshire of recent decades (and a place of few Irish people) who happened to discover by accident he could hear RTE R1 on his car radio by accidentally going to Long Wave, and had found it a useful service whilst commuting:

    Goodbye 252, by Paul Hughes | Sunday Miscellany

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,398 ✭✭✭tinytobe

    I've actually heard that on Sunday, as I always tend to tune into Sunday Miscellany when I have the chance. I found it an interesting remark, if he stated that when buying a new car a LW radio is a key requirement, and the car salesman never heard about that request.

    In Switzerland DAB was actually driven by older listeners missing the Musikwelle or Musigwaelle as it was called on 531 mediumwave.

    The "DAB argument" would be that RTE would have been better of investing in an Ireland-wide DAB coverage, rather than keeping the 252 alive.

    RTE Radio 1 on DAB within the UK to reach the Irish diaspora will to a certain degree never happen, unless the law is changed.

    And agreed internet can be difficult to use for older folks, albeit mobile internet coverage in the UK is pretty excellent.

    I wonder how many listeners are really in the UK listening to the 252? ( And forget the campaigners, they are campaigning and they are connected, and certainly not isolated poor people )

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  • Registered Users Posts: 68,806 ✭✭✭✭L1011

    The UK is in the process of making that legislative change; and surprisingly they really don't have a lot of other legislation going through at the moment so it shouldn't be delayed.

    They have had to take to putting longer coverage on absolute nonsense to pad the Commons days out to the expected length.

  • Registered Users Posts: 606 ✭✭✭TAFKAlawhec

    Tinytobe has given some good info on this, but just to add my own...

    The only country in the world so far that has switched off its national FM networks is Norway. Local stations are still available on FM while they are being transitioned to DAB+ for their service areas.

    In addition, the RAS body which serves the largely German speaking autonomous region of South Tyrol in northern Italy in providing relays of TV & radio from Austria, Switzerland & southern Germany, switched off their FM transmitters in the region a few years ago. Other than RAI's Sudtirol station, all remaining FM in the region is in Italian or Ladin.

    Switzerland are looking like the next potential candidate to switch off their FM broadcasts, but no firm date has been set yet.

    However, what links the above three examples is that Norway, Switzerland & South Tyrol have extensive DAB+ networks that provided a direct replacement for FM stations in either previously served areas, currently are or will do so before FM transmissions are eventually switched off. In all three cases, moving to DAB+ has provided most former FM listeners with a wider choice of available stations, particularly outside the major urban centres.

    Again with credit to tinytobe, in a few parts of Germany where Deutschlandfunk is available on FM, some of these transmissions are slowly being switched off whilst the main station & two sister stations are available on a national DAB+ ensemble (broadcasting laws in Germany are a bit more complicated since such matters are in the hands of the states/lander rather than the central government). DLF switched off their MW & LW transmissions back in the mid-2010's.

    Other than what's been mentioned above, no European government has talked about an FM switch off other than give indications that if/when DAB reaches a critical mass of listeners will a rough date for the intention to switch off FM broadcasts be drawn up.

    And in European countries where DAB either doesn't presently exist or is only available on a small scale, none of them are talking of an FM switch off, nor are the major public or commercial broadcasters in such countries indicating anything to do as such. For the record, RTÉ have said absolutely nothing about switching off their FM network in the state (though if I've missed one, feel free to show it).

    None of these major broadcasters, nor their respective national governments, are planning on ending their terrestrial FM or DAB broadcasts and going satellite or IP delivery only for the foreseeable future. For PSBs it would be seen as a deficit of their duty to serve the public at large on their country, while for commercial broadcasts** it would be pretty much financial suicide for them.

    And just to add my €0.02, RTÉ's DAB intentions have been well meaning and dare I say it, progressive, but hampered by funding to achieve a proper national roll out and a lack of parallel development in the commercial sector for the platform, it decided to cut its losses - for now, at least.

    You're either badly misinformed, or are spreading FUD in talking about "...seeing the wholesale switch off of FM across Europe".

    ** (maybe some tiny, niche broadcasters in some cases, like a few community radio broadcasters in the UK that have decided that FM broadcasting is not worth the cost and have reverted to being internet-only (with a possibility of going on a local ssDAB multiplex if one is available) - but the bigger boys & girls are definitely NOT doing considering this in 2023!)

    Post edited by TAFKAlawhec on

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,398 ✭✭✭tinytobe

    Thanks for quoting me so often. Glad to be of help.

    I think Switzerland introduced DAB+ simply because of more choice and better performances in mountain terrain. On FM there was never a Swiss-wide commercial radio station, commercial radio was only limited to bigger cities. And then there is also the requirement to bring French and Italian stations as well, so FM simply has reached it's limit.

    They keep postponing FM shutdowns due to some cars still having FM radios.

    Regarding Norway, the whole of Scandinavia seems to be a mixed bag.

    Denmark has pretty good DAB+ adoption, and I believe one public radio station also moved exclusively to DAB+.

    Norway is the only country having strategically moved to DAB+, albeit the public broadcaster NRK is still on FM in some remote locations such as remote Islands. Some commercial stations are still on FM in some places, also some non commercial stations are also still on FM.

    Finland has no DAB / DAB+ at all and I am not aware of any plans to introduce DAB+ there? They had a trial years ago, which was shut down.

    Sweden had DAB+ for the public broadcaster but decided not to further expand.

    Regarding Germany, the Deutschlandfunk and the Deutschlandradio were main drivers regarding a federal DAB+ adoption. Public broadcasting is more a provincial matter rather than federal, but they are all part of the ARD. The Deutschlandfunk was founded during the partition years where the need for a public sector federal radio station came up. They used LW and MW to reach an audience in the East. Listenership in the West was still very low.

    After reunification the need was no longer there to transmit across borders, so they shifted gradually from AM to FM, having gotten the strong FM stations in the East as well.

    However in many parts of the former West-Germany they were not able to get a decent FM coverage as frequencies were getting limited. When DAB+ came along they jumped at the chance, even introduced another station called DLF Nova, a youth oriented programme and a fourth station callled DLF DokuDeb. Germany now has 2 federal Muxes on DAB+ plus one ARD local Mux and often one or two commercial Muxes. The choice is rather broad. In many places 4 or 5 Muxes can be received.

    Regarding South Tyrol, the RAS is still available on FM. They are re-transmitting 3 programmes from Austria on FM but started gradually to phase out smaller FM transmitters as DAB+ is getting more and more established. Via DAB+ they also re-transmit programmes from Switzerland and Germany.

    I don't know if there is a shutdown date in Italy for FM, but DAB+ is pretty well established in South Tyrol. Economic differences between North and South are very grave in Italy.

    It'll be a welcome change to have RTE Radio 1 on DAB in the UK.

    This legislation in the UK is actually also the reason why American Forces Network isn't over the air. AFN has only been on air in the UK during the war.

  • Registered Users Posts: 75 ✭✭webwayz

    The legislation to allow a foreign operator to operate in the UK (or be licenced by OFCOM) was published at the end of March this year UK Media Bill 2023 it was specifically aimed at the RTE situation, with the Minister having stated he would nominate RTE as one of the providers to be allowed, this was in response to dialogue with Irish groups in the UK and some politicians of Irish extraction.

    Would it have been much of an expense to wait until the DAB/DAB+ alternatives were in place.

    RTE could show good faith and ring fence the amount of money it spent on 252, to be used for broadcasting to the diaspora, or else the Irish Government should take in a percentage (or part of a percentage) of the Licence Fee like it does for TG4 for Diaspora services.

    An idea would be to decrypt RTE News (Now) TV whose content would not conflict with commercial providers, on Sky so as non-subscribers, e.g. Freesat viewers could get it, also make RTE News available on Virgin Media TV Anywhere in the UK!

  • Registered Users Posts: 72,622 ✭✭✭✭Welsh Megaman

    Heard that too - no word of a lie, when I purchased my car back in 2009 (Suzuki Grand Vitara), one of the first questions I asked was if it had LW! :D

    Preach, brother, preach!

  • Registered Users Posts: 72,622 ✭✭✭✭Welsh Megaman

    Living in the UK, I listened to Radio 1 on LW252 far more than on Sky/iPhone App, mostly because I live right by the beach - taking a portable LW radio down there in the summer (as well as having the radio on in the shower) is cheaper than using my iPhone.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,398 ✭✭✭tinytobe

    That's an interesting read about the UK Media Bill 2023. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Yes, sure they could have waited until RTE Radio 1 was on DAB in the UK. Maybe RTE was really in dire financial straits to close down LW252 at the earliest convenience a technician could get to the transmitter site?

    Iceland was rather fast to shut down not only one LW transmitter but taking down the mast soon after. Absolute went pretty quickly from AM even though they renewed their license until 2030?

    And then there will also be the question of reciprocity of the UK Media Bill 2023. If RTE Radio 1 is on DAB in the UK, BBC Radio 4 should be on DAB in Ireland, once DAB get's rolled out in Ireland - if ever.....

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,432 ✭✭✭Tork

    €400,000 a year for the electricity alone, plus an estimated investment of €2.6m to keep the mast going. All for a service that has an unknown number of listeners.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    The most vocal who complain about the closure of 252 seem to have a very romantic image of the elderly been obsessed with "Raidió Eireann" like they were stuck in a 1950s timeworp

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Retired RTENL employee Enda O'Kane has been campaigning about LW 252 for a lot longer than I expected

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  • Registered Users Posts: 14 boardsuser1000

    When most of these people emigrated they would have been in their 20's or 30's. What percent of people in that age group regularly listen to RTE Radio 1. I'm guessing that it's very low. So when did they develop this love affair with "Radio Eireann".

    If the campaign to save LW252 was successful it would have cost €5 million to keep it going for 6 years. It's easy for them to campaign for something when they weren't paying the cost. We all know that every year they'd have a new excuse to keep it on air, eg DAB reception not available everywhere, radios too expensive, interface too complicated for the elderly.

  • Registered Users Posts: 75 ✭✭webwayz

    Iceland is an interesting case, LW was used to cover large areas on land and sea, especially the way the population is distributed around Iceland, since 2017 a lot of FM transmitters have now been added and upgraded to cover as much of the country as possible, so now that is in place they have replaced one of the LW stations they had.

    Also some of the emergency services used the LW band and this has also been migrated to VHF and Satellite.

    An aside the BBC World Service is licenced to broadcast in Iceland on FM in Reykjavik. A quid pro quo with RTE and BBC would be quite natural.

  • Registered Users Posts: 606 ✭✭✭TAFKAlawhec

    Re: the potential of BBC radio service(s) in the Republic of Ireland...

    If RTÉ ever launch on DAB in the UK, it'll be through a commercial decision by RTÉ (maybe part funded by the DFA?) with a UK ensemble operator (or several if localised coverage is targeted). It will have nothing to do with the BBC unless somehow it ended up on the BBC national ensemble (as good as not happening).

    There's been talk/suggestions on here & elsewhere for many years about the potential of BBC domestic stations, both TV and radio, being broadcast on digital platforms in the Republic of Ireland via DAB & DTT, free to air. While this can technically be done, an actual, real elephant in the room on this is quite simple - "Who pays?" The BBC is not going to use licence fee money to expand availability of its domestic services outside of the UK, Isle of Man & the Channel Isles (effectively the "UK licence fee zone" - outside of this area your options for receiving such stations are through receiving overspill of terrestrial or satellite signals where possible, or subscribing to a pay-TV service that offers such stations, where available - nominally, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium & Switzerland AFAIK.

    Otherwise, the only FTA options from the BBC outside of the UK licence fee zone is what is provided by the corporation's international offering, and that means either the World Service for radio or the (now) international version of the BBC News channel. Since the international & domestic operations of the BBC have now been slightly blurred due to the decision several years ago that required starting the BBC to fund the World Service from the UK licence fee as opposed to a block grant from the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, I'm not entirely sure what is being used to pay for FM transmitters in certain parts of the world that broadcast the BBC World Service - but I do know that the international BBC News channel continues to be a wholly commercial operation outside of the UK, albeit now carrying slightly more UK licence fee produced content.

    So given the present evidence of what the BBC does outside of the "UK licence fee zone", if any BBC radio TX was to operate in the Republic of Ireland it would be at best only it's World Service, on FM (with no digital terrestrial radio platform available), and would very likely only be available only in Dublin. And you'd get no different unless a generous benefactor paid the BBC to broadcast anything else it produces, like Sky & Virgin Media do to provide domestic BBC content on their pay-TV networks as a commercial product.

    Unlike the BBC, RTÉ have no international radio broadcast station, so the best it can offer for overseas distribution is its flagship domestic station i.e. Radio 1.

    And lets not forget that in the Republic of Ireland, there are significant hurdles in terrestrial radio legislation, (I stand to be potentially corrected by) the only two bodies by law that can hold broadcast radio licences in the state are either RTÉ or the BCI - the BBC or any foreign broadcaster would need to have an agreement made with either of the two, unless legislation was changed.

    Overall, the BBC content available on RTÉ Radio 1 extra is a reasonable compromise outlet - no, it's not a direct "live from London" feed, but you take what you can get. Just a shame that with DAB no longer available, the only options for in-car listening is via mobile networks and if you can do that, you can probably get BBC Radio 4 directly as well (assuming no geoblocking being in place).

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,021 ✭✭✭✭dxhound2005

    The RTE plans have a whiff of "vapourware" about them. Even if the UK allows it, RTE might not do anything on DAB in Britain. The first extract below is from 2015, and Listen2Digital obviously did not win the bid. They went out of business in 2017. The second extract, is from 2017 in reponse to a query on a website about whether RTE was on DAB in Britain. Have RTE published any more plans for when the legislation in the UK is finalised?

    "Plans announced today for a second national DAB multiplex in the UK include putting Radio 1 on DAB across the country.

    One of the bids submitted by Listen2Digital, includes 18 national radio services, one of which is Radio 1.

    The bid faces competition from a consortium of UTV, Bauer Media and transmission provider Arqiva. If successful, it could be seen as the answer RTÉ’s current dilemma of removing Radio 1 from Long Wave in the UK by providing an alternative terrestrial channel. The broadcaster received backlash from hundreds of listeners when it announced it would be closing the 252LW service at the end of last year. It is now scheduled to continue for at least another year."

    "In March 2017 RTÉ announced a plan to “launch a service on DAB+ digital radio modelled from RTÉ Radio 1”. Details of the service were still being worked out, but “it is likely to include a limited amount of new targeted programming commissioned for audiences in Britain”. The broadcaster anticipated that the service would be available in urban centres where the “majority of RTÉ Longwave listeners live,” rather than across the UK. The specific areas have not been detailed yet."

  • FM is likely to be on air for decades.

    DAB+ suits big, multi station broadcasters that want to get more channels spun up on air. It has potential for local services, but in countries where it has taken off there’s usually a very well funded, very dominant PSB like BBC driving it, or NRK in Norway, or there’s a focus on by big commercial stations. If BBC hadn’t lashed cash into the early days of British DAB rollouts it likely wouldn’t have taken off. They were big enough to get the ball rolling and commercial players eventually followed.

    Ireland has a fairly small PSB that struggles to even keep Lyric and RnaG going, never mind a number of new stations. It also hasn’t even got a regional or local radio output, having only ever run RTE Cork and then running away from the idea.

    The biggest issue though is that Irish commercial radio is dominated by independent local radio stations, and they simply don’t want it. It brings in more competition into markets that are barely viable in some cases beyond the cities, with falling ad revenues for years and they would also lose control of their own transmission infrastructure and have to pay a regulated DAB+ network operator, likely 2RN …

    From their point of view DAB is a commercial threat rather than an opportunity. They’re not going to shoot themselves in the foot and aren’t likely to be drivers of DAB.

    Also where DAB has been rolled out here like the local commercial MUX that was made on air in Cork City all that seemed to appear on it was weird religious stations. There was nothing of any interest or greatly innovate showing up.

    It just seems like Irish radio output is at capacity on FM already and not even making full use of the spectrum. That’s why we aren’t seeing DAB going big here.

    If you want to swap stereo FM with RDS for DAB+ there’s also practically no difference for listeners. The technical advantages for DAB might be more efficient spectrum use but for a listener it’s just another band.

    Digital TV brought about much high quality HD television and natively supports full wide screen. PAL was limited to 576i in a square format and if you used PALplus wide screen the resolution drops further. Things like the EPG are also invaluable and it brings a much bigger choice of channels. DAB vs FM in a market like Ireland is a very different prospect.

    In an Irish context DAB to me looks like ISDN - a technology that was adopted by heavily in Europe in some countries where a national telco drove it “just because it’s digital”. There was a lot of measuring ISDN rollouts by state owned telcos in the 90s but nobody ever really could see what use it was other than in business. A lot of the domestic end users in Germany for example just used ISDN for their normal phoneline, because that’s what DT provided, but never found a user base where it was purely commercially driven, like here or the US, and then was then massively surpasses by DSL, cable and fibre, which gave real and advantages. ISDN data rates weren’t so much better than a 56k modem that people rushed to it, and it was expensive.

    I see DAB very much like that. It’s a creature of big public owned broadcasters and highly centralised and regulated markets. Our FM market is very local and commercial.

    Longwave is basically the steam train of radio technology and I think we are getting into the heritage railway preservation society mode of thinking about it. If it’s not serving an audience, there are dwindling numbers of receivers available and there are online alternatives that are superior in audio quality and choice, it’s a dead technology.

    If UK law changes to allow RTE R1 on DAB in some form in the UK it should go on, but only if it means RTE R1 content isn’t effected. The last thing I would want to see is a single feed and RTE adopting Ofcom regs universally.

    I could see RTE R1 having some shows not aired in the UK. Ofcom is fussier about things like strong language and so on, which could easily cause problems for some RTE shows. The BAI tends to see things like that in context of speech.

  • Registered Users Posts: 606 ✭✭✭TAFKAlawhec

    @[Deleted User] - well measured comments IMO.

    In terms of technical capability, DAB/+ can deliver potentially better audio quality than FM given a sufficiently high bitrate & sampling rate. This is being done in many of the Contentinal European countries that have dusted off old DAB v1 equipment and relaunched as DAB+ services. For example, in France all services are being broadcast with fixed 88 kb/s HE-ACC. Indeed in a lot of cases the minimum bitrate of services is 64 kb/s HE-AAC v1 unless it's a service unlikely to need such a high rate (e.g. mainly speech services). Presumably the 64 kb/s minimum has been set using HE-AAC v1 as using lower bitrates makes the Spectral Band Replacement (SBR) data in the codec sound too harsh and the Parametric Stereo (PS) of v2 not sufficiently good enough?

    It's also the case that DAB/+ while having the potential to suffer encoding artifacts is at least immune from multipath interference that can plague reception of FM even in strong signal areas, probably a good reason why Norway & Switzerland with their mountainous terrain have welcomed DAB+ because of this. Dropping in "fillers" for patching coverage in certain areas is not too difficult either (especially with satellite feeding of the ensemble) and avoid headaches of finding a "clear" frequency in an SFN, which is starting to become more troublesome these days in Ireland for FM radio.

    However, for most listeners, even in areas where high bitrates & sampling rates are in use for DAB+, it's unlikely they will notice a significant difference between DAB/+ and FM, compared to say FM and MW or LW. This will be especially true for those listening with the likes of portables where the potential additional quality cannot be given justice.

    As you mention, in the UK DAB development was driven partly thanks to a BBC that is big and important enough to try and drive such developments, as well as successive governments from the mid 90's onwards to make a push for it in parallel to DTT. The problem was that the equipment costs was at least initially too expensive for most consumers, there was not a sufficiently large network in place other than to serve the major urban centres & important roadways, and that it soon became clear that what listeners in Britain preferred more was additional choice as opposed to "near CD quality sound". Potential opposition from commercial radio operators were essentially given a comfort blanket by being given a guaranteed eight year extension to their FM broadcast licences if they simulcast on DAB in their service area. From around the mid 00's, DAB receivers started becoming that bit more affordable - I have an Acoustic Solutions Portal 2 DAB/FM radio that I bought in 2005 and it still serves me well to this day - and Ofcom started to loosen regulations concerning minimum bitrates to going by perceptual audio quality levels, before doing away with most such regs anyway. This in turn saw stations drop bitrates, sometimes to help squeeze an additional "digital" service into the space, and eventually in some cases (Global have been advancing this the most) converting from MP2 to HE-AAC and squeezing even more services in. In the UK at least, as well as some commercial services in Australia & Italy, DAB can't really be considered a Hi-Fi platform to any serious extent now and it is now (and in the past 15 years or so) more focused as a platform for portable & in-car use.

    As for RTÉ, it is what it is and ongoing comparisons to the BBC is essentially a case of David & Goliath - it's often unfair to compare the two in a head-to-head. The times when RTÉ get involved in technical trials it's usually in co-operation with a larger body like the EBU or CEPT as it has nowhere near enough funding or clout to do much of its own original experimentation. And on DAB itself, it's quite clear that even with their additional digital stations they could never fill an ensemble of their own services using DAB+ (if it ever relaunched, no point going back to DAB v1 now). IF there was a national DAB plan in the future, it would IMO be possible be that a single national multiplex could be "launched" that carried both RTÉ & commercial services. First would be the network infrastructure going out to tender (you'd presume 2RN would be the choice, but it could be someone else), then giving sufficient, guarenteed bitrate for RTÉ for their services, then try and allocate remaining bitrate for other services. Today FM, Newstalk, Classic Hits & Spirit Radio could be given a carrot similar to what the UK did of automatic FM licence renewals for jumping on board with DAB+, while remaining data space could be offered to additional services whereby otherwise standard BCI content regulations could be significantly scaled down or cut altogether (e.g. speech content) as a carrot for being "exclusively digital", which might make it attractive for some operators like 8radio, Zenith Classic Rock, Radio Rí Rá etc. to apply. I'm sure there's plenty of theories and suggestions that could be made - but all of that above as well as anything else is just talk if there is no political will to do something let alone any financial will. History has shown that legal broadcasting policy in the state has been mostly reactive rather than proactive (e.g. 80's pirates forcing the hand of breaking RTÉ's legal monopoly of broadcasting) and when it comes to DAB, if nothing is done then it's a case of FM dominating for the forseeable future until there comes a point where radio streaming for the masses reaches a time where (a) it's extremely easy to access stations in the same way terrestrial broadcast radio currently does, (b) mobile data essentially becomes "too cheap to be metered", (c) such wireless networks are not only even more extensive than what they currently are, but are also robustly reliable & capable of handling needed data capacity for everything that requires such, and (d) that a station can cost accommodate having a large amount of streaming listeners, which is not something right now that is cheap - that'll require IP multicasting to be very widespread, and I'm not sure that is possible even in the long term without breaking net-neutrality.

    Edit: Just to add - RTÉ Radio 1 could already broadcast within the UK if there was a licence holder residing in the UK willing to stand over its content. Of course, the issue is with a "live" relay of the station with content potentially unsuitable not only for Ofcom regs, but also the law - I'm thinking of how the odd bit of mild swearing is deemed acceptable in Irish radio but not in Britain for the former, as well as the potential for breaking the likes of "Superinjuctions" for the latter, like the Ryan Giggs case. With stations like Polish Radio London and the likes of the now defunct Spectrum before them, if they were relaying programming from "home" it's nearly always on a delay lest the above might happen and the licence holder gets into really hot water - probably not as dangerous for non-English spoken content, but still... my assumption for new licencing that can allow for foreign broadcasts to broadcast terrestrially in the UK is that there will be special licensing conditions for such services compared to "home" stations - this is already the case in some parts of Europe where a PSB or state broadcaster is transmitted terrestrially in a country other than its own, the most obvious example being RTÉ & TG4 TV broadcasts in Northern Ireland.

    Post edited by Mike on

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,103 ✭✭✭Glaceon

    252 has been switched off, nothing here now.

  • Registered Users Posts: 30 Donuthead

    Did anyone catch what time the plug was pulled?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,103 ✭✭✭Glaceon

    I've no idea when exactly but it was still on this morning around 9:30.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 72,622 ✭✭✭✭Welsh Megaman

    *throws all Roberts radios in the bin*