Dominique Baudis, President of the French regulatory authority, CSA, told delegates at a conference in Paris this week that there is a clear consensus in France for digital radio, adding that the current discussion is not about whether to proceed with digital radio, but how. (...) in place since July 2004, the CSA launched a consultation in 2005 to which it received 50 responses from the French media industry. All were positive on the need for France to embrace a digital radio future.
Although the digital radio debate in France is still open, the CSA is committed to moving forward quickly, with M Baudis saying “the future of radio is digital.” From the public consultation, the CSA has identified four possible routes to digital including on-carrier digitisation of FM and AM; dedicated digital radio networks in new bands such as Band III and, possibly, L Band; hybrid digital terrestrial/satellite radio; and digital radio on any other platforms, such as the DTT network. M Baudis emphasised that these routes are not mutually exclusive: “There are different ways to go into the digital era, but they can be seen as complementary,”
France is in the process of reshuffling its FM band, a big issue for radio in France. This reshuffle is designed to reallocate existing licences and, possibly, free up spectrum for new analogue radio stations. The process will result in a maximum of just 10% additional spectrum being freed for new services, which means the only option for many broadcasters to expand their portfolio of stations is via a digital platform.
The next step for digital radio in France is to look at the potential for Band III digital radio broadcasting»
(texto total: «17/02/2006 - Digital radio in France is "inevitable"»; o texto original aqui)