Opinion Former Article

IET: Rethink on FM switchover is good news say engineers

Communications minister Ed Vaizey has signalled that both traditional FM and new Digital Audio Broadcasting signals will remain operating in tandem for the foreseeable future. 

Prof Will Stewart, Chair of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Communications Policy Panel, said: “It is good for this to be recognised in the light of buoyant FM sales and the ability of FM to provide near-universal coverage.

“We need to have a debate about the best kind of digital radio, or perhaps let many kinds compete. Television is delivered through many different digital channels (Freeview, satellite, cable, internet and more) and increasingly so is radio, with non-DAB digital sources including the internet rising fast, including non-traditional 'radio' like music streaming. A plethora of technologies, including ones on mobile devices may be the best answer.

“If we need traditional all-listen-to-the-same broadcasting at all (debatable) then we should either just use FM which is cheap and effective or at least never again go for a UK-only standard like DAB.  Probably the internet is the answer.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

§  Interview opportunities are available with IET spokespeople from a broad range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and women in engineering.

§  The IET is one of the world’s largest organisations for engineers and technicians.  We have nearly 160,000 members in 127 countries around the world.

§  The IET is working to engineer a better world. We inspire, inform and influence the global engineering community, supporting technology innovation to meet the needs of society.

§  The IET is the Professional Home for Life® for engineers and technicians, and a trusted source of Essential Engineering Intelligence® and thought leadership.

§  For more information, visit www.theiet.org


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T: +44 (0)1438 767336
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E: rbeahan@theiet.org

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