Nijmegen, the Netherlands - Dec 19, 2011 - "The progress that is being made for national and regional radio sharply contrasts with digitization of community (local) radio stations." This is the assertion made in a letter from Community Media Forum Europe (CMFE) and AMARC-Europe (the European regional section of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters) to Neelie Kroes, The European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda.
The group goes on to state that "...DAB(+), although the preferred technology in large(r) coverage areas, is in many cases unsuitable for community (local) radio stations."
Two principle reasons are given in the argument. The first concern is that many community radio stations are almost nowhere able to fill up multiplexes of DAB networks. The second is that there are hardly any countries so far that have assigned suitable Band III or L-band frequencies for community (local) radio stations. In most cases areas that will be covered by DAB or DAB+ multiplexes are far larger than the area needed to reach local listeners.
Finally, from the letter: "We therefore plea for: preservation of the FM Band for radio broadcasting and introduction of DRM+ (on FM and eventually even on Band III) standard alongside DAB(+)."