Peers warn of digital radio revolt

Consumers are set to pay the entire cost for the digital radio switchover from FM which is due to take place by 2015, peers have warned.

The Government is being urged to make its case before a backlash arises among the public.

According to a report by the House of Lords Communications Committees, the changes will require the replacement or conversion of 20 million analogue car radios.

Last June the Government published its Digital Britain White Paper which detailed the plans. It stated that all national and main local radio stations should switch to digital DAB format only by the end of 2015.

But the Lords committee found there was "public confusion and industry uncertainty" about the switch and car manufacturers say it will be 2013 before they fit digital radios to new vehicles as standard, meaning many new car buyers could still be purchasing vehicles with systems that will soon be obsolete just two years before the switchover.

The report said: "No-one can be satisfied with the present position. There is an urgent need for clarity which was emphasised by almost all those who gave us evidence.

"No way forward is entirely painless but at the very least the public deserve to know what is being planned."

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