Digital killed the radio star

Caroline Cassidy

Within the next few years there will be radio silence for all analogue radio users. Ed Vaizey, the culture minister, will announce tomorrow the government's decision for a "digital switchover" meaning that all analogue radios will become obsolete.

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The plans, which will be announced by Mr Vaizey at the Intellect Consumer Electronics Conference, will state the target date for the switchover to be 2015, and after this date there will be no more FM radio broadcasts.

This change will make 100 million radios and their FM signals defunct and will also require 30 million car owners to spend exorbitant amounts of money to upgrade their car radios to new digital sets.

New in-car digital radios could cost around £300 each, or the alternative is to buy a digital converter that attaches to the windscreen in the same way as a sat nav. These cost around £100.

Lord Fowler, chairman of the House of Lords communications committee, believes that the changes will cause a great deal of contention, especially amongst older listeners.

He said: "These are people who do a lot of radio listening and if you've got four or five radios dotted around the house, then replacing them means the cost adds up.

"The public have got to be taken with the process on this otherwise there is going to be something of an explosion of indignation."

Were you aware of the digital switchover and are you prepared for it? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.