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RadioCentre Head Predicts 2018 Switchover Date

Linda Smith expects analog radio to end in five years

According to The Independent, chief executive of RadioCentre, an organization representing commercial stations across the United Kingdom, Linda Smith predicts a full digital switchover for radio will be delayed.

“If I were a betting person I would say the range of dates for switchover would be from the end of 2017 and 2020,” Smith said. “I think it’s more likely to be quarter one or quarter two of 2018.”

Communications Minister Ed Vaizey is expected to reveal the government’s time frame at the Go Digital Conference Dec. 16.

“There’s an industry that works on the back of this and to continue the uncertainty and prolong the date — whether you are a car manufacturer fitting DAB radios or a consumer thinking what sort of radio to buy — that starts to get quite difficult,” Smith said, emphasizing the economic importance of a firm deadline.

“I don’t think it’s too slow, it gives the smaller operators as well as the bigger operators time to think through what they are going to broadcast and how they manage the transition,” she said, also citing continued sales of analog sets as slowing the transition.

Smith also argued for relaxation of regulations that determine the location of commercial stations in the U.K.