The investigation by Ciaran McGrath, journalist for the Daily Express, was two-pronged: to shed light on how much the public broadcaster had spent to design the logos and the pressure on the over 75s to pay the licence fee, from which they were previously exempt

It took a good investigation by the Daily Express to bring to light how much the BBC had spent on the ‘digital rebranding’ of its TV and digital channels. A six-figure sum, over £7 million, strenuously denied perhaps because it was difficult to justify, given the painful cuts made by the public broadcaster, such as the closure of many regional branches passed off as a ‘reshaping of the offer’. The BBC put up a wall for months, despite the fact that the newspaper invoked the Freedom of Information Act, a law that has guaranteed the right of access to information held by public authorities since 2000. So, in the end, the Daily Express submitted a formal complaint to the ICO (an independent body that upholds information rights in the UK) and at that point, the BBC capitulated: eight months had passed.

Too much opacity

Silver Voices is an organization founded to convey the views of the over the 60s to political parties to improve legislation and society

The opinions collected by the Daily Express seep into the arrogance of the public broadcaster and its opacity. As in the speech by Dennis Reed, director of Silver Voices, a not-for-profit organisation of over-60s that aims to convey their opinions to political parties to improve legislation. According to Reed, the £7,261,039 spent could have cleared 45,000 subscription fees for the public broadcaster, thus helping most families with an elderly person with dementia, or relieving those struggling with energy bill payments. The BBC has also been reticent with Silver Voices, which, when asked how many over-75s previously exempt from the license fee had come clean, denied having a list. Yet, Reed points out, families who should be regularised continue to receive regular threatening letters ordering them to pay up. Let us hope, therefore, that light will be shed on this too.

Written by Fabrizio Carnevalini


Built in 1980 for the XXII Olympics, the Tallinn TV tower retains a grim Soviet atmosphere. EU-funded renovations were completed in 2012

Experimental digital DAB+ broadcasting has begun in the Baltic country. On November 28, 2022, channel 10A was switched on from the Tallinn broadcasting tower, and on December 22, 7A from the Levira Koeru location, which with its 300-meter height extends coverage to the central part of Estonia. Pehka, in the municipality of Haljala, was added on January 11, 2023, also on 10A. The multiplex currently hosts six channels from Duo Media Networks (Raadio Elmar, Raadio Kuku, Raadio MyHits, Raadio Duo, Narodnoe Radio, and DFM), one from MTG (Power Hit Radio), and four other stations: Star FM Eesti, Klassikaraadio, Äripää Raadio, Tre Raadio.

Co-operation between ‘bigs’

The map shows the current coverage area. According to Levira’s technical director, with the activation of the third transmitter, the network is complete, and this will allow for coverage tests.

It is managed by Levira, the main network operator for TV and radio stations in Estonia, which has one of the largest data centers in the country. The company cooperates with Duo Media Networks (the largest media company in the Baltics, which owns seventeen TV and six radio stations) and Mediainvest Holding (a subsidiary of Sweden’s MTG Modern Times Group, which owns Power Hit Radio). Levira is controlled by the Republic of Estonia but 49 percent of the shares are held by the French telecommunications company TDF.

Written by Fabrizio Carnevalini


The station’s studios are like a control centre: the animators always have one eye on the monitors showing the focal points of the roads leading into the city

With the pandemic, traffic had plummeted and the ratings of Radio Circulation, Montreal’s traffic radio station, had declined. But since the renovation of the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine tunnel (opened in 1967) began, the station has become very popular again. The tunnel to be renovated, to ensure its operation for another 40 years, passes under the St. Lawrence River and connects the island of Montréal with the south bank of the river in Longueuil, Quebec. It is a vital access route to the city and since three of the six lanes will remain closed until November 2025, many have thrown in the towel and opted for the train or the metro (+15%), while those in cars rely on the radio to seek alternative routes.

A bet won

The futuristic Turcot interchange, a vital local and regional link as it is located on a key route between Montreal-Trudeau International Airport and the city centre

Moreover, Radio Circulation owes its fortune to traffic jams: it opened in 2011, a year before the opening of the major construction site for the Turcot interchange, a multi-level elevated road system linking three motorways: Autoroute 15, 20, and 720. The station broadcasts on 98.5 FM and 730 kHz mediumwave, and in the studio, two editors take turns every half-hour in conducting and answering listener calls, never losing sight of the twenty or so monitors that show the hot spots at risk of traffic jams. The radio competes with online navigation platforms but manages to give faster and more up-to-date information than Google Maps and Waze, both in the portfolio of Alphabet, the web giant.

Written by Fabrizio Carnevalini


One of the information boards near the tunnel invites users to stay tuned to broadcasters while in transit

We drove through the Mont Blanc tunnel in both directions to check what stations are being received: on the Italian website of TMB, the company that operates the tunnel, the list is not available, while on the French version it was removed a few months ago. There are 12 frequencies, two of which are reserved for info traffic channels (Autoroute Info and RAI Isoradio) and ten for public and private broadcasters in the two countries. France prevails, with three public networks (France Inter, France Musique, and the regional France Bleu Savoie) and three from the main commercial networks (Europe 1, Fun Radio, NRJ). The Italians, on the other hand, number four: one public network (RAI Radio2), two private networks (Radio 105 and RMC – Radio Monte Carlo), and the Piedmont regional station GRP (Giornale Radio Piemonte).

All frequencies

The page on the French site that listed the receivable stations also listed RAI Radio1 on 89.3

Here is the list sorted by frequency of the stations that can be received by driving through the Mont Blanc Tunnel. Compared to what was indicated on the website, which divided them equally (5 and 5 between the two nations) there are now six French radio stations. There is no longer a trace of Rai Radio1 on 89.3.
88.7 RMC – Radio Monte Carlo (Italia)
89.6 NRJ
91.0 France Inter
91.9 RAI Radio2
94.7 France Musique
99.0 105
100.0 Fun Radio
103.3 Isoradio Rai
103.6 France Bleu Savoie
104.4 Europe 1
107.7 Autoroute Info

Every six minutes an emergency message

The control room of the Mont Blanc tunnel

On the Italy side approach route and inside the tunnel, one can listen to RAI’s commercial-free public service channel Isoradio 103.3, with traffic information and live links to CCISS Viaggiare Informati and Autostrade per l’Italia’s Multimedia Center. On the French side and inside the tunnel, traffic news is broadcast by Infotrafic 107.7. During transit, drivers are asked to stay tuned to FM frequencies because a reminder message in three languages (Italian, French, and English) about compliance with the main traffic rules in the tunnel is aired every 6 minutes on all channels. For security reasons, information about behavior in the case of an event or emergency is broadcast.


The report does not, however, analyze listening habits, although according to RadioWereld.NL, the public devotes only 47% of its time to FM (data from August-September 2022)

In anticipation of the renewal of FM licenses, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK) has updated a 2017 study on switch-off scenarios between 2027 and 2032, confirming that the deadline is still realistic. Reduced mobile internet tariffs and the rise of smart speakers would favor an early switch-off, as would soaring energy costs and the fact that the use of radio is becoming less and less relevant in natural disasters and for traffic data disseminated by TMC. However, concerns remain about the still sub-optimal coverage of DAB+, particularly indoors, and the fact that in-car listening is 60% FM, despite the fact that new cars have been equipped with a digital receiver since the end of 2020.
(Written by Fabrizio Carnevalini)


Our journey into the world’s urban radio landscapes continues with Lyon, France’s second-largest city by population considering the metropolitan area. Frequency modulation is equally divided between local and national stations. Considering frequencies, however, the networks lead the way as they have more than twice as many (48 vs. 23) and three public networks (France Inter, France Culture, and France Musique) have as many as four channels.

Concernent la France, nous poursuivons notre voyage à travers les paysages radiophoniques du monde, afin de nous imprégner de l’esprit des stations qui peuplent les ondes des grandes métropoles

Le lion, animal symbole de la ville et du dieu celte du soleil, est très présent dans la ville. C’est l’un de ceux qui ornent la basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière

Lyon a une scène radiophonique riche de stations locales, contrairement, par exemple, à Paris, où de nombreux stations à succès se sont transformées en réseaux nationaux, affaiblissant le lien avec le territoire. La FM est répartie de manière égale entre les stations locales et nationales. En ce qui concerne les fréquences, les réseaux sont en tête puisqu’ils en ont plus du double (48 contre 23) et trois réseaux publics ont quatre (France Inter, France Culture et France Musique).

Une ville snobée par les réseaux publics?

Sur le site internet de France Bleu, vous pouvez choisir la page locale à ouvrir, parmi les 44 antennes départementales/régionales

Malgré l’importance de la ville, le radiodiffuseur public régional France Bleu ne dispose pas d’une station d’information locale à Lyon, malgré un réseau de 44 radios de proximité. Pourtant, l’histoire radiophonique Lyonnaise est riche : la première station a commencé à émettre le 1er avril 1925 sous le nom de Radio-Lyon, à l’initiative d’une société privée, quatre ans après celle de Paris (née le 22 décembre 1921). Ce qui est absurde, c’est queantennes locales destinées aux départements voisins, comme France Bleu Isère (sur deux fréquences) et France Bleu Pays de Savoie, sont reçues dans la ville.

La ville divisée par les stations autoroutières

Créé en 1991, Autoroute Info émet sur les autoroutes des réseaux APRR, AREA, ATMB, SFTRF, Adelac et la voie rapide de Grenoble 

La situation est également curieuse en bas de la bande, sur le 107.7, la fréquence réservée aux stations autoroutières émettant en isofréquence. Il y a deux stations, qui se disputent l’audience : à l’est de la ville, c’est le programme d’Autoroute Info qui est reçu, tandis qu’à l’ouest, c’est le signal de Radio Vinci Autoroutes qui domine.

Radio Vinci Autoroutes est née en 2011 de la fusion d’Autoroute FM et de Radio Trafic FM, stations créées par les sociétés d’autoroutes Cofiroute, Autoroutes du Sud de la France (ASF) et ESCOTA

Il est vrai qu’il s’agit de deux stations commerciales, donc dans ce cas l’incohérence n’est pas la faute du domaine public, mais peut-être y aurait-il eu moins de dépenses de ressources si deux stations concurrentes n’avaient pas eu à couvrir la même zone.
Voici un bref profil des radiodiffuseurs locaux

Le plus important réseau de radios communautaires

Lyon a cependant un record : la ville abrite RCF Radio Chrétienne Francophone, le premier réseau de radios communautaires de France. Fondée à Lyon en 1982 sous le nom de Radio Fourvière, elle est devenue au fil des ans un important réseau national composé de stations locales qui conservent leur autonomie. Elle compte aujourd’hui 63 radios locales, avec un total de 270 fréquences, et emploie 300 salariés et 3 000 bénévoles, dont 180 en Belgique. Les stations diffusent chaque jour quatre heures de programmes locaux : il y a des émissions religieuses mais aussi beaucoup d’émissions destinées au grand public.

Ce que l’on entend dans la ville

Voici un aperçu de ce que vous pouvez recevoir à Lyon. La liste est réalisée avec FMSCAN (, une application basée sur FMLIST qui permet de créer une carte des signaux de n’importe quel endroit dans le monde. Nous avons les stations qui sont reçues avec un signal d’au moins 50dB. Pour chaque station, la fréquence, le nom et l’e répét’émetteur (numéro de département entre parenthèses) sont indiqués, ainsi que le RDS.

87.8       Mouv’  Lyon/Basilique (69)        MOUV’
88.1       Radio Espérance             Vienne/le Grisard [69] (38)         ESPERANC
88.4       RCF (Lyon)          Lyon/Basilique (69)        RCF 69
88.4       RCF (Lyon)          Lyon/Tunnel de la Croix-Rousse (69)     RCF 69
88.8       France Culture Lyon/Mont Pilat (42)     CULTURE
89.3       Virage Radio (Lyon)       Lyon/Fourvière (69)       VIRAGE
89.8       Radio Nova (Lyon)          Lyon/Basilique (69)        NOVA
90.2       Lyon 1ère           Lyon/Rillieux-la-Pape (69)           LYON1ERE
90.5       France Culture Chambéry/Mont du Chat TDF (73)          CULTURE
90.7       Radio Brume     Lyon/Rue Sœur-Bouvier (69)     BRUME
91.1       Radio Salam      Lyon/Fourvière (69)       R-SALAM
91.5       Radio Pluriel     Lyon 1er (69)     PLURIEL
91.7       Radio Nova        Saint-Etienne/le Guizay (42)      NOVA
92           Radio Scoop (Lyon)        Lyon/Mont Cindre 2 (69)             SCOOP
92           Radio Scoop (Lyon)        Lyon/Tunnel de la Croix-Rousse (69)     SCOOP
92.4       France Musique              Lyon/Mont Pilat (42)     MUSIQUE
92.9       Nostalgie (Lyon)             Lyon/Mont Cindre 2 (69)             NOSTALGI
92.9       Nostalgie (Lyon)             Lyon/Tunnel de la Croix-Rousse (69)     NOSTALGI
93.1       Nostalgie            Saint-Etienne/le Guizay (42)      NOSTALGI
93.3       Fun Radio           Lyon/Fourvière (69)       FUN
93.3       Fun Radio           Lyon/Tunnel de la Croix-Rousse (69)     FUN
93.5       France Inter       Chambéry/Mont du Chat TDF (73)          INTER
93.7       M Radio (Lyon) Lyon/Fourvière (69)       M RADIO
94.1       France Culture Lyon/Basilique (69)        CULTURE
94.2       France Culture Ancy (l’Arbresle)/Mont Arjoux (69)        CULTURE
94.5       Radio Judaïca Lyon         Lyon/Fourvière (69)       JUDAICA
94.9       Rire et Chansons             Lyon/Basilique (69)        RIRE &
94.9       Rire et Chansons             Lyon/Tunnel de la Croix-Rousse (69)     RIRE &
95.1       Radio Classique               Saint-Etienne/Croix du Guizay TDF (42)                CLASSIQ
95.3       BFM Business   Lyon/Mont Cindre (69) BFM
95.7       RTL 2     Lyon/Fourvière (69)       RTL2
95.7       RTL 2     Lyon/Tunnel de la Croix-Rousse (69)     RTL2
96.1       Skyrock                Lyon/Basilique (69)        SKYROCK
96.1       Skyrock                Lyon/Tunnel de la Croix-Rousse (69)     SKYROCK
96.5       Radio Classique               Lyon/Fourvière (69)       CLASSIQ
96.9       Radio Espace     Lyon/Fourvière (69)       ESPACE
97.3       Jazz Radio           Lyon/Fourvière (69)       J A Z Z
97.6       FC Radio (Pays d’Ain)    Ambérieu/Mont Luisandre (01)               FC RADIO
98           France Musique              Lyon/Basilique (69)        MUSIQUE
98.4       Tonic Radio (Lyon)         Lyon/Fourvière (69)       TONIC
98.6       France Musique              Chambéry/Mont du Chat TDF (73)          MUSIQUE
98.9       Chérie FM (Lyon)            Lyon/Basilique (69)        CHERIEFM
99.1       France Bleu Isère            Chambéry/Mont du Chat TDF (73)          BLEU.ISE
99.3       Radio Capsao (Lyon)      Lyon/Basilique (69)        CAPSAO
99.8       France Inter       Lyon/Mont Pilat (42)     INTER
100.3    Virgin Radio (Lyon)        Lyon/Fourvière (69)       VIRGIN
(deviendra Europe 2 le 1er Janvier 2023)
100.7    Sol FM  Lyon/fort de Côte-Lorette (69) SOL FM
101.1     France Inter       Lyon/Basilique (69)        INTER
101.5     Générations (Lyon)       Lyon/Fourvière (69)       GENE
101.8     France Bleu Isère            Lyon/Mont Pilat (42)     BLEU.ISE
102.2     Radio Canut       Lyon/Fourvière (69)       CANUT
102.6     Radio Arménie Lyon/Fourvière (69)       ARMENIE
102.8     NRJ (Loire)         Saint-Etienne/le Guizay (42)      NRJ
103         NRJ (Lyon)          Lyon/Mont Cindre 2 (69)             NRJ
103.4     France Info        Lyon/Mont Pilat (42)     INFO
103.8     France Inter       Ancy (l’Arbresle)/Mont Arjoux (69)        INTER
103.9     France Bleu Pays de Savoie       Chambéry/Mont du Chat TDF (73)          BLEU.SAV
104.2     RMC      Lyon/Fourvière (69)       RMC
104.2     RMC      Lyon/Tunnel de la Croix-Rousse (69)     RMC
104.6     Europe 1             Lyon/Fourvière (69)       EUROPE 1
104.6     Europe 1             Lyon/Tunnel de la Croix-Rousse (69)     EUROPE 1
105         RTL         Lyon/Fourvière (69)       RTL
105         RTL         Lyon/Tunnel de la Croix-Rousse (69)     RTL
105.4     France Info        Lyon/Basilique (69)        INFO
105.8     Vivre FM             Lyon/Villeurbanne (69) VIVRE FM
106         France Musique              Ancy (l’Arbresle)/Mont Arjoux (69)        MUSIQUE
106.3     Impact FM          Lyon/Basilique (69)        IMPACT
106.5     Skyrock                Saint-Etienne/Croix du Guizay TDF (42)                SKYROCK
106.7     Radio Orient     Lyon/Fourvière (69)       ORIENT
107.3     RFM (Lyon)        Lyon/Fourvière (69)       RFM
107.7     Radio Vinci Autoroutes               Lyon/Montée de Choulans (69)               r 107.7
107.7     Radio Vinci Autoroutes               Pierre-Bénite/Échangeur (69)   r 107.7
107.7     Autoroute Info Saint-Priest/Aire de Manissieux (69)     AUTOROUT

Le centre de diffusion de Radio France au Mont Pilat, au Crêt de l’Œillon, (1364 mètres d’altitude). Actif depuis 1955, il dispose d’une antenne de 80 mètres
Source: Photo par Daniel Culsan sous la licence Creative Commons 3.0

La plupart des signaux proviennent de l’agglomération, mais il existe aussi des installations très puissantes comme Lyon-Mont Pilat, un émetteur important et très puissant (158 kW) qui couvre toute la région lyonnaise et d’autres départements, Fourvière améliore considérablement la réception des stations du service public dans certaines zones de Lyon, où le Mont Pilat est mal reçu (comme dans le quartier de Bellecour, dans le deuxième arrondissement de Lyon).

Aperçu des principales stations de radio locales

L’image du Père Noël qui se détache sur le site, avec son graphisme bien conçu, invite à participer au concours. Le reste est consacré aux programmes, podcasts d’actualité et on peut écouter les derniers titres diffusés

Lyon 1ère 90.2: est basée dans la ville et diffuse de la musique Oldies (classiques) et des Hits actuels, ainsi que nombreuses informations locales concernant le Grand Lyon et quelques émissions thématiques. C’est une importante station commerciale qui fait partie du réseau Les Indes Radio, groupe créé en 1992 et composé de 125 radios locales en France.

Un graphisme agréable, regroupant toutes les sections principales du site dans une agréable mosaïque de photos et de lettres. La radio universitaire affirme “explorer la diversité artistique depuis plus de trente ans”

Radio Brume 90.7 – C’est la Radio Campus de Lyon. Son programme est principalement musical, agrémenté de titres méconnus, non diffusés sur les radios commerciales. Musique alternative, Rock, électronique… il y en a pour tous les goûts. On y retrouve également des émissions culturelles, majoritairement à destination des étudiants de l’aire urbaine de Lyon.

La page Facebok de Radio Salam (le site web est en train de subir une refonte graphique)

Radio Salam 91.1 est une station associative, dédiée à la communauté arabe musulmane de Lyon. Créée en 1991 à Lyon et en 2011 à Bourg-en-Bresse, elle diffuse des programmes en Arabe et en Français, et relaie les bulletins d’informations de Radio Monte Carlo Doualiya et RFI Radio France Internationale.

Avec un graphisme essentiel, le site de Radio Pluriel accueille le visiteur avec une liste de programmes, mais aussi des sections d’actualités, des podcasts et les profils des présentateurs, avec des informations et des liens vers leurs réseaux sociaux

Radio Pluriel 91.5 – Une station qui porte bien son slogan : “Numéro 1 sur la diversité”. Elle diffuse des émissions thématiques dédiées à des communautés multiples : Italienne, Portugaise, Berbère, Malgache… Elle relaie les bulletins d’informations de RFI Radio France Internationale, ainsi que des bulletins d’informations locales. La programmation musicale est variée : Hits actuels et Oldies (Classiques).

La page d’accueil propose des podcasts des dernières émissions : actualités, revues de presse, programmes culturels (avec des sections cinéma, littérature et spectacle) et à la Torah

Radio Judaïca 94.5 – Une station dédiée à la communauté Juive de Lyon. Elle propose une programmation musicale variée, agrémentée de musiques israéliennes, des émissions thématiques.

L’esprit commercial de la station met l’accent sur les concours, les webradios, les hits, mais en faisant défiler la page on découvre que les trois quarts de l’espace sont réservés aux nouvelles et aux informations concernant la ville

Radio Espace 96.9 – La Plus Lyon des Radios ! comme l’affirme le slogan, est une station commerciale proposant une programmation musicale majoritairement axée sur les Hits actuels. Elle détient 4 fréquences FM dans le département du Rhône. Elle diffuse aussi des informations locales et départementales.

Dès que vous entrez sur le site, vous êtes invité à choisir l’un des neuf emplacements de la station. Chaque emplacement a sa propre page avec des graphiques coordonnés et des nouvelles locales

Tonic Radio 98.4 – Station commerciale. Anciennement connue sous le nom de Hit & Sport, elle diffuse des retransmissions sportives et de la musique type Top 40. Tonic Radio commence à devenir une station intra-régionale grâce au DAB+. On la retrouve par exemple à Marseille et Avignon (en dehors de la région Rhône-Alpes donc).

On est accueilli par le calendrier des événements et des festivités sur fond de musique latine et par la playlist des chansons diffusées dans la dernière demi-heure

Capsao 99.3 – C’est une station associative Lyonnaise, axée sur la musique Latine depuis de nombreuses années. Elle est désormais bien présente hors région Rhône-Alpes grâce au DAB+. On peut la retrouver à Paris, à Lille et à Nice par exemple…

ILe site présente de beaux graphismes, mais n’est pas à jour : les événements les plus récents datent de mai 2022. Mais la page Facebook est mise à jour quotidiennement

SOL FM 100.7 – Station associative, membre de la Ferarock (Fédération de radios associatives de découvertes musicales). Elle propose une programmation musicale très variée, allant du Rock/Metal au Jazz, en passant par la musique électronique, et même parfois par les musiques du monde. En plus de sa programmation musicale, SOL FM diffuse des émissions locales, culturelles, et des émissions musicales thématiques.

Simple, mais avec un graphisme non conventionnel : le site est un peu rebelle. Mais il est bien réalisé, car tout est concentré sur la page d’accueil : de la grille des programmes aux podcasts, en passant par les événements 

Radio Canut 102.2 – Une station associative, de tendance “anarchiste/libertaire“: son slogan est “La plus rebelle des radios”. La programmation musicale est variée. Ses studios sont situés dans le quartier de la Croix-Rousse (4e arrondissement de Lyon).

Avec un graphisme simple, c’est un site qui se concentre sur les initiatives culturelles et les entretiens sur l’histoire du peuple arménien et de la diaspora. Un espace est également dédié aux affaires courantes et à la géopolitique 

Radio Arménie 102.6 – Station associative à destination de la Diaspora Arménienne. Elle est également diffusée à Vienne (Isère) sur 106.1.

Des graphismes contraignants accueillent le visiteur avec des flashs d’interviews d’invités célèbres dans le studio (après tout, la station de radio est basée à Paris), mais le reste est riche en actualités et en podcasts des principaux programmes

Vivre FM 105.8 – C’est une station associative basée à Paris, spécialisée dans le handicap et les différences. Elle propose de nombreuses émissions dédiées à tous les types de handicap. Elle est diffusée à Lyon depuis le 15 Décembre 2021, c’est sa seule et unique diffusion FM hors de Paris.

Une information de dernière minute fait état de la participation de la chanteuse, compositrice et pianiste belge Angèle Joséphine Aimée Van Laekenm à l’édition 2023 du festival Woodstower, organisé près de la ville. Mais tout le reste de la page est consacré aux actualités avec une section sportive.

Impact FM 106.3 – Station commerciale, reprise par Radio Scoop (radio intra-régionale très connue) il y a quelques années. Sa programmation musicale est axée sur les classiques et les chansons françaises.

Il y a également des stations nationales qui sont autorisées à diffuser des émissions et des publicités locales (décrochages locaux) : Radio Nova, Nostalgie, M Radio, Chérie FM, Virgin Radio, Générations, NRJ, et RFM.

(Written by Lucas Gallone and Fabrizio Carnevalini)


A mobile RAI vehicle conducting tests for digital radio reception in the tunnels

With the development of DAB comes the question of how to add services to an existing system. A study conducted in Italy in 2017 by the RAI-Radiotelevisione Italiana Research Centre, in anticipation of the development of digital radio, highlighted the criticalities of using the structures built to broadcast the channel over Isoradio traffic. It would be necessary to intervene on the device that mixes the signals before conveying them on the slit cable: a costly and complex operation. It was therefore suggested, in order to drastically reduce costs, to use the radio wave system by re-transmitting the signal from an antenna placed at one end of the tunnel, or, in longer tunnels, at both ends.

A leading country…

On the BPC website, you can find in-depth technical information on tunnel diffusion systems

Italy, due to its orography, is the second largest country in the world in terms of the number and length of tunnels, second only to China and followed by Japan, Norway, Switzerland, Austria and France. And it can count on world-leading companies in tunnelling, underground construction and transmission systems with a high level of integration such as those used in the Frejus (12.8 km) and Mont Blanc (11.6 km) international motorway tunnels. More than 30 channels are available in these tunnels for the services of Italy and France: fire brigade, border police, Carabinieri, Gendarmerie, medical emergency vehicles and FM broadcasting with RDS. The systems are managed by a control centre that can interrupt radio programmes to broadcast emergency messages.

…but Switzerland also has its leadership

On the website of SRG SSR, the company that runs Switzerland’s public radio and television service, you can find a list of the 193 road tunnels where you can listen to digital radio

Switzerland is well advanced on DAB. Network expansion has been going on since 2014: the country had given itself a ten-year horizon for the switchover to digital radio, which will take place at the end of 2024 when the analogue FM transmitters will be switched off. Currently, SSR network coverage for indoor reception is 98%, while for outdoor reception and car radios it even exceeds 99%. Today, therefore, Switzerland boasts the best DAB+ coverage in the world, with some 193 tunnels longer than 300 metres being illuminated by the signal already in 2018 with an investment of around CHF 30 million. The areas not covered are mainly located in peripheral regions, a problem that will be solved in the coming years.
(Writteb by Fabrizio Carnevalini)


148 radio stations in the UK hit the digital airwaves thanks to local radio revolution
Ofcom, the UK’s broadcast regulator, published a report on the first year of operation of the new DAB multiplexes

Less than a year after digital multiplexes went live in the UK in the local area, already 148 stations have started broadcasting on DAB, increasing the range of programmes available to listeners. Compared to the other wavebands, broadcasting in the DAB band is cheaper because it allows several stations to broadcast on the same channel, thus sharing the costs of the transmitter (design, installation, transmission equipment, and antenna) and especially the running costs (station rental, power, and maintenance). A DAB+ channel can accommodate 12 to 24 programmes, depending on the bandwidth each radio requires (48 to 320 kHz, depending on the desired audio quality). Local commercial, community, and thematic broadcasters have arrived on the new frequencies, many of them making their debut on the airwaves.

Allocations still in progress

Ofcom awards five new small-scale DAB multiplex licences
The list of broadcasters that have already been granted authorization to broadcast on DAB on a local scale can be consulted on the Ofcom website

The multiplexes in the local area are licensed by Ofcom (the UK’s communications regulator), which has so far authorized 59, of which 20 are already up and running. Others will go on air by the end of 2022 and during 2023. A third licensing round is currently being launched for the areas of Milton Keynes (Rutland), Stamford (Swindon), Marlborough (Wetherby and Harrogate), and the Yorkshire coast. The evaluation of the applications received for the fourth round, which made available a further 24 local multiplexes, is also underway. In spring 2023, the call for applications will be opened for round five, which will include the city of London and the southeast of England.

From the LGBT community to traditional Scottish music

Gorgeous Radio, previously only active on the web, is a broadcaster targeting the LGBT community
Gorgeous Radio, previously only active on the web, is a broadcaster targeting the LGBT community

Stations previously only listenable on the web such as Salisbury Radio, Winchester Today, Rother Radio (Sheffield and Rotherham), Radio West Norfolk (King’s Lynn), and Central Radio (Blackpool) have debuted on the airwaves. Channels targeting specific groups, such as Gorgeous Radio (LGBT community), Spice Radio (local Asian community in the North East of England), and Celtic Music Radio in Glasgow and Edinburgh (contemporary and traditional Scottish music and culture). And then not-for-profit community stations operating on AM or FM, such as Radio Cardiff (98.7 MHz), Drive 105 (105.3 in Derry/Londonderry), Radio Tyneside (93.6), Cambridge 105 (105.0), Switch Radio (107.5 in Birmingham), Black Country Radio (92.2 and 102.5), Future Radio (107.8 in Norwich) and Akash Radio (1323 Medium Wave, the ‘1st Punjabi Radio Station in the North of England’ broadcasting from Leeds). As well as thematic radio stations offering dance, soul, afrobeat, album rock, easy listening, nostalgia, and alternative music.


Suffolk's GenX Radio presenter Tim Gough dies on air
The BBC website dedicated a lengthy article, with testimonies from former colleagues who remember him for the time they spent together behind the microphone

It’s as good a day as any in Ipswich, a Suffolk town where GenX Radio is based, a web station that within a year has been so successful that it has taken the leap into the airwaves, submitting an application to Ofcom to open a DAB channel (the authorisation will come a few days after Tim’s death). Even though it has no competition, because it is the only commercial station in the region, it needs to upgrade its palimpsest in order to land in the digital band. So it recruited a veteran of the airwaves for its most important programme: the breakfast slot, which between 6am and 9am takes listeners from waking up to resuming their activities. And Tim Gough is an exceptional presenter: he has decades in the business behind him and, above all, began his career in 1986 at Radio Orwell, a station based in Ipswich (transmitted on 1170 kHz on medium wave and 97.1 MHz on FM).

A morning like any other

A still from Green Day's video clip, in which Madness depicts the daily grind of getting up to go to the office even when you got home very late.
A still from Green Day’s video clip, in which Madness depicts the daily grind of getting up to go to the office even when you got home very late. But work calls!

The sun rose at 7.37am. The sky is grey but not cold, it’s 13 degrees. It’s Monday, a new week begins and it’s time to get the energy going. Tim is happy. These are the first broadcasts he is conducting after ten years away from the microphones. He lives 30 km from the station and to avoid travelling to the studios before dawn he has equipped himself at home. He has been on the air for almost an hour when he plays Grey Day by Madness, a ska group that in 1981 with this song parodied a grey morning like that, but in which you still have to get up and drag yourself like zombies to the office after a night of revelry.

Suddenly the music stops

In the BBC report, there is an image taken at Saxon Radio (used to broadcast on 96.4 FM, and merged with Radio Orwell) showing a Tim in his early twenties preparing the setlist
In the BBC report, there is an image taken at Saxon Radio (used to broadcast on 96.4 FM, and merged with Radio Orwell) showing a Tim in his early twenties preparing the setlist (he made his debut at the age of 19, in 1986)

Grey Day is a track full of energy, evoking for Tim the years when he took his first steps at Radio Orwell, in 1986, and he thinks it’s the right push to face a new cloudy week. But shortly afterwards, at 7.50, the music suddenly stops: Tim is taken ill, probably from a heart attack. The ambulance arrived and the paramedics tried to revive him, but after 25 minutes of effort, they had to throw in the towel. Tim left live. As soon as the news spreads, the emails start arriving: hundreds of messages of love. After all, Tim is a well-known personality: after his debut on Radio Orwell in 1986, he became a specialist in morning host. He moved on to Saxon Radio and SGR-FM and made appearances on Smooth Radio, several stations in the East Midlands and other national radio stations. The BBC article collects several testimonials from former colleagues, who agree that he is a friendly, funny and very talented guy. (Written by Fabrizio Carnevalini)


The Collserola tower, a daring construction designed by British architect Norman Foster in 1992 for the Olympic Games, is 288 metres high and also houses the antennas of the DAB multiplex for Barcelona
The Collserola tower, a daring construction designed by British architect Norman Foster in 1992 for the Olympic Games, is 288 meters high and also houses the antennas of the DAB multiplex for Barcelona

The Iberian country is lagging behind in the transition of radio to DAB. Eighteen years after the activation of multiplexes, digital broadcasting seems not to have emerged from the experimental phase: they are active in Madrid and Barcelona, and a few other cities, still broadcasting in the old standard DAB and not in DAB+. The few programs carried are those of Radio Nacional de Espana (Radio 1, Radio 5: Radio Clásica, and Radio 3 remain excluded), and the main networks (the missing ones are, for example, Cadena Dial, Los 40, Rock FM). Similarly to FM, where inertia in granting authorizations has proliferated illegal frequencies, to which networks also resort, unauthorized multiplexes have been turned on. The number of official ones active mainly in tourist areas (the Costa del Sol and Canary Islands) is doubled.

Avalanche of appeals

Panorama Audiovisual to reconstruct the situation interviewed Jaime Rodriguez Diez, the lawyer who advised the radio stations to file the appeals
Panorama Audiovisual to reconstruct the situation interviewed Jaime Rodriguez Diez, the lawyer who advised the radio stations to file the appeals

Given the competition made to official radio stations by unauthorized ones, many broadcasters interested in digital broadcasting have appealed to the Spanish Constitutional Court, which between September and October 2022 upheld sixteen “recurso de amparo”, which added to those already pending bringing the total to 22. This ”recurso” is a legal formula that allows Spanish citizens to appeal to the supreme court when they believe constitutional norms have been violated. Giving an accurate picture of the situation is the magazine Panorama Audiovisual, which reconstructs its evolution since 2018 when broadcasters began turning to autonomous communities to apply for authorizations. Since some regions have refused, despite having an obligation to grant them, even though they did not proceed with the allocations, a law firm has recommended appeals to the Constitutional Court. Will they be upheld? Let’s keep our fingers crossed! (Written by Fabrizio Carnevalini)

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