Kroes: Radio mustn’t be complacent

Speaking at the Association of European Radio’s 20th Anniversary Conference in Brussels, Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, told delegates they must think creatively to solve the issues holding back the proliferation of digital radio in Europe.  “Let me give you just one example,” she said.  “In the absence of standards agreed by the market, in the absence of digital radio in 16 Member States, I welcome the efforts of the WorldDMB industry group.  They have developed receiver specifications which integrate DAB, DAB+ and DMB standards in one receiver.”

Commissioner Kroes reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to pan- European digital radio saying:  “Radio must not be left behind in the digital revolution”.  She also urged an end to apparent complacency about radio’s future, saying:  “We were not complacent about broadband when “dial-up” was considered by some as “good enough”.  We were not complacent about mobile phones when fixed line telephones seemed to be the norm for all.  And we cannot be complacent about radio’s future now.”

Aware of the problems holding back the roll-out of digital radio, Kroes called for all AER members to support her efforts to resolve the technical, political and economic issues that must be overcome.  “It is important that you make your voice heard in wider debates,” she told the conference.

She concluded by saying that she is optimistic that the radio Single Market has a digital future. “I am determined that you should have access to the full benefits of the Single Market.  To get there, we will need EU-wide coordination.  Rest assured, I am your ally in your efforts to give people the radio they want, how they want it.”

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