The Antique Wireless Association/Museum recently posted another excellent presentation on YouTube; this time taking a look at the history of British Broadcasting. Here’s the description followed by the video:
Radio broadcasting in the UK followed a much different path than it did in the US, and there’s more to the story than the BBC. Tim Barrett tells the whole story in this history of British Broadcasting.
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Kris Partridge, who shares the following article that notes the UK will not follow a Norway-style digital switch-off. Rather, broadcasters will be allowed to switch off individual AM (and eventually FM) transmitters once they determine it is no longer a cost-effective strategy.
Analogue commercial radio licences to be given ten-year renewal
Analogue commercial radio licences due to expire in the next couple of years will be given a 10-year extension under new government plans.
During a consultation, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport had originally proposed either 5 or 8 year extensions, but in light of the Coronavirus pandemic’s impact on commercial radio revenues has decided to offer stations an extra 10 years.
[…]Minister for Media and Data John Whittingdale said: “As we move into an increasingly digital world we’re making sure the licensing landscape for radio is fair and up-to-date and allows audiences to enjoy a wide range of high-quality stations.
“Today’s step ensures there is no disruption for loyal listeners of treasured FM and AM radio services such as Classic FM, Absolute Radio and TalkSport over the next decade.
“We will soon be turning our attention to providing similar long-term certainty to support the future growth of digital radio.”[…]
LONDON — In the United Kingdom, the use of digital sources for radio has reached 50.9%, up from 47.2% a year ago, accounting for the majority of all listening for the first time, according to RAJAR Q1 2018 data.
“With the 50% digital listening threshold now met, it is anticipated that the UK government will undertake a review to assess digital radio progress and determine next steps in due course,” according to a Digital Radio UK press release.
Digital listening share is comprised of listening across all digital platforms: DAB in homes and in cars, apps and online (which includes the growing number of smart and voice-controlled speakers) and DTV — and this is the first time that listening to digital has been greater than analog platforms — FM and AM.
[…]The UK’s three leading radio broadcasters — the BBC, Global and Bauer, which collectively account for over 90% of UK radio listening — are “fully committed to delivering a digital future for radio and look forward to working with government and the supply chain to continue the transition to digital radio.”
For years fans of wireless radios have campaigned to stop the apparently inevitable march of progress as Britain prepares to switch off its crackling analogue signal and become totally digital.
But now, the BBC will announce that it has shelved plans to force listeners to replace their analogue radios with DAB sets.
In a move that will also be welcomed by the two million motorists with analogue car radios, the corporation will admit for the first time that FM broadcasts must continue to keep audiences on side as music streaming and podcasts threaten its traditional strongholds.[…]
From Marconi and the transistor radio to DAB: the history of radio in the UK
93 years ago this week, the BBC made its first radio broadcast. We look back at some of the most significant events in radio’s history.
On November 14, 1922 the British Broadcasting Company began its first radio broadcast. Since then the radio landscape has changed dramatically.
Radio is still an incredibly popular medium. According to Ofcom’s 2015 Communications Market Report, nine in ten UK adults listen to the radio each week. We listen for an average of 21.4 hours a week, but the way we do this has changed.
Families had to huddle around the radio in the 1930s, but now we can listen to the radio anywhere, anytime using our smartphones. We look at some of the most significant milestones of British radio over the last 93 years[…]
“In the face of the internet, mobiles and instant messaging you might expect the hobby of amateur radio – or HAM radio as it’s also known – to be on the decline.
But in the last three years, the number of amateur radio licences has risen by over 8,000 – with 80,000 currently issued in the UK.
Using designated frequencies, amateur radio enthusiasts communicate with people over the world. Many prefer the relaxed approach of ‘rag chewing’ or chatting at length with people, who often become friends – while at the opposite end of the spectrum ‘contesters’ compete to make as many contacts as possible in a given period.
The hobby is also a public service, with Raynet (in the UK) stepping in during emergencies when regular communication networks fail. Amateur radio enthusiasts are currently contributing to relief efforts following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.”