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Digital Switchover A Decade Away?

Over half a million digital audio broadcasting (DAB) radios were sold in the run-up to Christmas, and more importantly, the purchases were made in advance of the big digital 'switchover'.
But it has now been announced by the boss of the operation that it may take between six to ten years for the switchover to be complete.
The first Chief Executive of Digital Radio UK - Ford Ennals has predicted that the rollout of the DAB transmitter network was some way below the coverage offered by FM, which is paramount to the future success of the platform.
As pointed out by Ennals at the House of Lords Communications Committee Inquiry, Ofcom research had shown there to be about 50m radio sets in the UK currently in use, with a total of 100m sets in the UK.
He said he hoped there would be "low cost converters" coming onto the market enabling analogue sets to be switched on to digital.
Chairman of the Digital Radio Working Group and Former Channel 4 Deputy Chairman, Barry Cox explained that it was likely that many of the analogue sets will need to be disposed of.
Commenting to the Guardian newspaper, he explained that it would be only right for analogue digital licences to be "rolled over" for radio groups who invest in digital, adding that the BBC would be more inclined to spend its licence fee surplus on "DAB rollout than it was on broadband or replacement ITV regional news services."
The digital economy bill going through parliament now includes a target date of 2015, but only if 50% of radio listening is via digital by 2013.
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