The launch of Digital Radio in Adelaide this week highlighted some outdated rules. An expert from one of the AM stations that is now available on Digital was asked by a listener if her reception would improve.
Of course he said as long as she was in their broadcast area. The listener lives about 30 kms from the centre of Adelaide but on the wrong side of the Hills. The Station has the equipment to enable broadcasting into that area … but the licence from the Federal Govt prohibits it. It seems her area belongs to a provincial station 70 kms away!
How antiquated are these rules that are there to protect stations that have a focus that is not in sync with changing demographics.
The listener lives 10 kms from the tower that transmits the new digital signal but must still listen to the “rural” programming from the station that does not have the ability or desire to broadcast in digital.
I am sure 50 years or more ago when the rules were established it was important to give stations protected broadcast areas to ensure financial viability … but with changes in technology it does seem outdated.
People around the world can listen to any radio station they like on the Internet so why this ongoing protectionism of broadcast.
Another classic example that Govt in Australia does not get new technology all that well … and is stuck doing what they always did to make sure we get what we always got … which is generally not what we want or deserve!
Radio and the Internet are the perfect combo of media … would be great to see Radio now embrace Social Media as well … there are many great applications for it too!!