GENEVA � WorldDAB has joined with the European Broadcasting Union and the European Digital Radio Alliance to call upon EU decision makers to introduce measures to encourage the interoperability of radio receivers across the EU. The point of such an initiative is to make new radio receivers (consumer and automotive) capable of receiving both analog and digital transmissions. The full statement is published on the EBU website.
A growing number of European markets are adopting digital terrestrial radio, but progress is fragmented, and the speed of adoption is hindered by the fact that a majority of radios sold across the EU are still analog-only. �The introduction of interoperability requirements would accelerate the adoption of digital radio across the EU � bringing benefits to listeners, broadcasters and society. It would help deliver economies of scale and ensure cross-border portability of devices,� according to WorldDAB�s press release. The European Institutions are about to enter the trialogue discussions for the broadcast aspects of the European Electronic Communications Code. These discussions provide the opportunity to introduce these measures.
Support for radio receiver regulation in Europe is growing: In October 2017, the European Parliament published an amendment in favor of radio receiver regulation. In December, Italy passed a law requiring all new radio receivers on the market from the Jan. 1, 2020, to have digital capability. In January, the French regulator (CSA) confirmed DAB+ coverage is expected to exceed 20% of the population � triggering a legal requirement for new receivers to have digital capability.
�In a world increasingly dominated by technology giants, radio needs a digital pathway which allows the medium to remain free-to air, compelling to listeners and reliable in times of emergencies,� said WorldDAB President Patrick Hannon. �A requirement for radio devices to be capable of receiving both analog and digital transmissions is critical to achieving this goal.�