U.K. Ministry of Culture, Media and Sport to Test Analog FM Switch-off

February 8, 2013

Bath - Feb 7, 2013 - The city of Bath has been chosen by the U.K.'s Department of Culture, Media and Sport to participate in a six-week trial to test how radio listeners will react to the switch-off of analog FM radio in the U.K., according to an article in Southwest Business.

The trial, called GO Digital, is being held ahead of a ministerial decision on when or if a switchover to digital radio should take place. This project follows on from the nation-wide switch-off of the analog television signals across the U.K.

The trial, being run by ipsos MORI, will involve 235 households that will be given a DAB radio. The households include older persons, disabled persons, those living in assisted living facilities, and those that are registered as blind or partially sighted. The notion is these listeners are perhaps more reliant upon radio than other consumer groups.

It's important to note that these listeners would still be able to get FM radio (on whatever radio they previously owned) in addition to the DAB stations on the new radios, as well as car radios, televisions, and smartphones.

If I may editorialize a bit: I'm not clear on how this can be considered a real "test" if listeners are still able to fall back on their analog FM radios.

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