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The Internet Communications Networking United Kingdom News

Why UK FM Needn't Be Killed For Broadband 108

superglaze writes "Alarmed by rumours of the UK telecoms regulator Ofcom considering a shut-down of FM radio in order to give more spectrum over to broadband, ZDNet UK's Rupert Goodwins has proposed another idea: the reuse of the mostly disused 'Band I' and the creation of a new, national open mesh network — a plan that could bring internet connectivity to everyone at very low cost."
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Why UK FM Needn't Be Killed For Broadband

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  • by itsdapead ( 734413 ) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @06:01AM (#36703272)

    Contrary to that most people belive, you do NOT have a god-given right to listen to radio on a device that was sold before the semiconductor was invented.

    Whereas people do have a god-given right to wireless broadband wherever they choose to live?

    Anyhow, the issue is not people having to replace the 1930 cat's whisker rig in their living room: its people having to replace all the cheap, modern FM radios in their bedrooms, cars, boats, showers, potting sheds, phones/personal audio players with expensive DAB sets which might not even be able to receive a signal and offer few other advantages.

    Don't do it over night, but set a clear deadline, ie. 2015, 2020.

    ...and people will ignore it until right before the deadline :-)

    You also need to have a viable alternative in place - currently, DAB is not that alternative.

  • by itsdapead ( 734413 ) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @06:07AM (#36703284)

    I don't know what Ofcom is thinking. Take-up on digital radio is low, costs are still high, and the benefits to the consumer are minimal when compared to digital TV. I really can't imagine people retrofitting every car and replacing every alarm clock.

    Hmm. Is the DAB band any good for broadband? If so, I think we have a winner.

    DAB is a waste of space: its redundant in the living room, with many of the radio channels available in better quality over DVB or internet radio, and its a non-solution to the problem of cheap portable radios with widespread reception. Kill it with fire.

  • by VAElynx ( 2001046 ) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @09:12AM (#36703880)
    Stop hiding behind the "we" and state who really needs it - manufacturers and sellers of DAB, and assorted companies to carry out the conversion of emitter stations...
    Even though some problems can be addressed, things like inherent high power consumption of digital devices and the fact that a digital signal doesn't degrade well (and having more error recover codes means you have to transmit more signal per second worsening the first problem) will stay here no matter what you use. (the last will probably force building more emitters... or doing it the US way of not giving a crap about those too far)
    And why the fuck is "analog age coming to an end" ? I thought it's best to use whatever technology does the best job.. but then i have the outdated 20th century belief that technology should serve man and not the opposite.

The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the fabricator and impossible for the serviceman.