DAB lobby keen to get public service out of the AM band
The public service radio in Ireland RTE has announced it is now closing down its Radio1 Longwave Service on 252 kHz. However, this decision is made without any consultation and has been met by opposition. The close down is now postponed until January 19th 2015. The critics say that the change will disadvantage individuals and groups in the Republic, and members of the Irish Diaspora living in N. Ireland and the UK.
By leaving the AM band RTE will also remove the possibility of using new developments in digital radio such as DRM services which is now developed in India and other countries.
RTE says longwave was inefficient, but unlike FM and DAB, can reach hundreds of miles from just one transmitter. But FM coverage is in tens of miles and DAB’s is even less and thus many small, costly transmitters are needed to cover the country.
The LW transmitter with its 248 meter antenna mast in Clarkstown is covering Ireland and the United Kingdom. The transmission also covers a sizeable area of the North Atlantic and in contrary to DAB is also reaching merchant shipping and fishing vessels.