Friday 20 June 2014

Community Radio on DAB+ in Three Major Cities in France

Not joined by public service and major commercial networks
Today 45 community radio stations - radio asociatifs - in Marseille, Nice and Paris in DAB+ multiplexes. The stations are in most cases those extending its coverage into additional areas or stations which previously have not succeeded to get an FM permit.

There is a low key interest with this premiere as Radio France - the public service broadcaster - will not be on DAB+ because the French government says DAB+ will be to costly. Also the major commercial networks - as RTL - are not participating in DAB developments. According to the media authority CSA there are no plans to switch-off FM radio in France.

It is possible for the community radio sector to afford trying out DAB+ because 40-50 % of the operating budget of a community radio station is state funded. Today there are approx. 600 radio asociatifs on FM in France.

In France other digital system have also on trial. During 2013 DRM+ was broadcast on the Riviera in VHF Band I and in Bretagne in Band II (FM).  Outside greater metropolitan areas there is an opinion that DRM+ will be a better choice than DAB+ for local broadcasting.

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