Digital radio switchover likely to be delayed by at least two years

Pure Sensia

It looks increasingly likely that the switchover to digital radio (DAB) will be delayed until at least 2017, and even as far out as 2020.

A leaked memo from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) says the original switchover date of 2015 has been abandoned, according to The Daily Mail website.

It says digital radio has failed to grab the public's imagination as digital TV did, and suggests the radio industry is unlikely to be able to meet the infrastructure costs required for DAB rollout before 2012.

Even then, the DCMS believes the switch from analogue to digital would have to be phased in region by region, rather than on a single day – which could take up to three years to complete.

Earlier this year speakers at the Westminster eForum on the Future of Radio called for a rethink on the Government's plans for DAB, with one – William Rogers, CEO of UKRD – saying: "The DAB switchover is a shambles; it's incompetent and inept, with irresponsible promises made."

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.