Friday 18 March 2016

Public Service in Austria Rejects DAB Radio

A move may jeopardize the medium of radio says the the director general
Public service company ORF has no interest in DAB + according to the media authority KommAustria. If we cannot increase program output DAB is useless to us, says ORF Director-General Alexander Wrabetz. ORF With current legal regulations ORF will not be able to establish more channels, DAB+ has not been successful in any European country, and the technology behind DAB+ is 30 years old. There are 15.5 million FM receivers in Austria, making a transition difficult and a forced solution can compromise the radio medium. This was the basic criticism Wrabetz has submitted to KommAustria. Further for ORF, a transition cost for parallel operation DAB+ and FM another EUR 50 million per year, says the public service boss.

Wrabetz recommends a close monitoring of the development of digital radio in other markets. He believes that one should not let the equipment industry chasing one into an adventure.

Since May last year DAB+ with about 15 radio stations, is tested in Vienna . In addition to Vienna additional radio clusters in eastern Austria and in the provincial capitals are planned This is supposed to grow together along the main roads. With the closure of FM - which can not be done without the ORF's participation - cannot be expected before 2024. 

The commercial station Radio Arabella's CEO Wolfgang Struber, is one of the driving forces behind DAB tests. He argues that the train towards digital radio can not be stopped in any case. In Radio Days Europe conference earlier this week Radio Arabella with the BBC and other public service companies founded a European digital radio alliance in order to promote DAB+.

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