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U.K. Announces Plans for Digital Transition

BBC, Ford of Britain also affirm switchover plans

“Digital radio continues to go from strength to strength and the decision on whether we are to switch to an all-digital future will be made next year. We are already looking at the logistics of how and when a full switchover would be possible,” said Broadcast Minister Ed Vaizey at the Drive 2 Digital conference held by Digital Radio UK at BBC’s new Broadcasting House.

Vaizey said that digital listening had increased to nearly a third of all listening and that a quarter of new cars were now fitted with digital radio as standard.

During the event, Director of Audio and Music Tim Davie affirmed the BBC’s commitment to digital radio and called the transition inevitable. He announced that plans for national DAB coverage buildout to 97% would be confirmed in 2013.

Anthony Ireson, the marketing director of Ford of Britain told attendees that from mid-December Ford would offer digital radio adaptors fully-fitted through their national network of 650 authorized repair facilities.

Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, explained to participants that new consumer research conducted by Digital Radio UK and Auto Trader shows 82% satisfaction levels among drivers with digital radio.