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France: Government Quiet on Digital

Local radios push for digital terrestrial radio adoption

Although France launched DAB+ multiplexes in Paris, Marseille and Nice last June, the government and the Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel, appear to have gone silent on the subject of digital radio, which currently covers 20 percent of the population, according to La Lettre Pro.

The question for some focuses on whether to use digital or broadband (IP) technologies for radio or if a hybrid method is most appropriate.

While CSA President Olivier Schrameck prepares his 2014 digital terrestrial radio report, which is expected to be published this autumn, the French parliament and government are busy drafting the 2015 finance bill (PLF 2015). The bill needs to take into account digital developments in order for the standard to advance in France.

During recent hearings at the National Assembly and the CSA and via a letter from Emmanuel Boutterin, chairman of Syndicat National des Radios Libres (SNRL) to Fleur Pellerin, minister of culture and communication, SNRL emphasized its position and the importance of moving forward with digital.

SNRL wants continued gradual deployment of DAB+ and this requires inclusion in the 2015 budget. The group also emphasizes the need for the public-service broadcaster Radio France to adopt digital radio for the benefit of French citizens, who are obliged to pay an annual audiovisual tax, so as to allow them to take full advantage of the broadcaster’s offerings.