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UK regulator Ofcom considering phasing out analog radio

Cyrus Farivar

We keep hearing about this "new media" thing that's supposed to bring the imminent death of traditional print and broadcast media. Only problem is that those pesky old-school journalists still keep turning out printed pages and keep making radio and TV shows that are actually aired, over, you know, the analog airwaves. Well, the UK may be the first country to shut down traditional analog broadcasts in favor of digital radio (and probably those podcast things we've heard about). Red Herring is reporting that Ofcom, the UK's equivalent of the FCC, recently published a statement that automatic renewal of AM and FM licenses could "tie up very valuable slices of spectrum for 24 years" and that the spectrum should instead be used for mobile television and "more digital radio and data services." However, while traditional radio is unlikely to get shut down overnight, Ofcom apparently believes that it will get phased out pretty soon. We're guessing that by the time that happens, DAB radios will probably drop under the $100 mark, allowing us to finally enjoy the Beeb in full digital glory and on the cheap.

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