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Remove threat to FM radio

Comment 23rd July 2010

In common with probably millions of people all over the UK I would like to be able to retain the FM radio signal. Please review the plans for Digital Broadcasting; even when the take-up of digital radio increases in the population, please do not switch off the analogue FM signal. This would lead to horrendous waste and expense all over the country.

Why does this matter?

Most households in the UK will have at least one FM radio, and many like my own will have a variety of Hi-Fi systems and portable radios dotted about the house, serving different purposes.

If the Government decides to go ahead and pull the plug on FM radio broadcasting these will all become utterly useless, and will result in an inconceivable tide of expensive technological waste flooding into landfill and recycling sites and illegal dumps that I doubt we can properly handle. Why cause such waste? There is nothing the matter with the FM signal, nothing the matter with the broadcasts we already enjoy, nothing the matter with the equipment we have already spent our money on.

It would mean everyone, rich and poor, being forced to throw away possessions to which they are very attached and replace them at considerable expense with something they didn't want and may find hard to afford. How many of us listen to more than a couple of favourite FM radio stations? By all means provide all the digital choice now available for those who insist on it and let them pay for the privilege – but please, please don't force this on millions of cash-strapped citizens who are perfectly content with what they already have.

The philosophy of the past few decades seems to have been that more choice is always better, and that newer is always better, and that the Government always knows best. In fact many (most?) of us are less stressed when we have fewer choices, when we are left to continue with the familiar things and routines that please and comfort us. Now that you are offering the Big Society a major say in how the country is run, may we keep our much-loved, carefully-chosen, sometimes expensive FM HiFi systems and portable radios, please?

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