UK switching off analogue radio in 2017

An influential working group has reported to the UK government that Britain’s that it should switch off analogue FM radio by about 2017. The Digital Radio Working Group says that it would be difficult to contemplate a switch off prior to at least half the population owning at least one DAB (digital) radio.

Today, some 18.7% of all listening is via a digital radio or some other digital source (such as TV sets). Barry Cox, chairman of the Group, said: “Most importantly we need to see overall coverage for DAB improve, along with more focus to get motorists to adopt DAB so that it can be a real alternative to FM services.” The advice is that this critical mass is likely to be reached between 2015-2020, with 2017 as the likely date.

Ofcom is on record as saying that the UK analogue radio switch off could begin – region-by-region – in 2012.