The French government recently launched a mission on the future of digital radio. Prime Minister François Fillon and Minister of Culture and Communication Frédéric Mitterrand have confided the task to Mr. David Kessler.
Mr. Kessler will examine the progress of the digital cable radio project currently underway and weigh potential complementary measures to ensure digital radio meets the needs of listeners, producers, and content creators as well as the public purse. The findings of the mission are expected in late November 2010.
“Digital cable radio […] means the age of low frequency and FM is at an end. Stations will now produce digital audio signals with higher sound quality. Digital broadcasting frees up frequencies, giving rise to new stations and allowing new features like text and image broadcast. For example, as a song plays, the name of the artist is displayed along with an image of their latest album.
[…] Introducing digital cable radio is more than a technical issue; it is also ethical and political. As expressed by Frédéric Mitterrand at the seminar entitled Numérique : investir aujourd’hui pour la croissance de demain held September 10, 2009, at Maison de la Chimie, ‘It’s also a question of the diversity of cultural expressions. We need a lot more information, but we already know that when it comes to Internet TV and radio, governing bodies like CSA are currently unable to enforce the regulations that have ensured rights, rules, and civilized discussion in traditional media. We need to accelerate and develop the transition from traditional to digital broadcasting in order to protect funding sources and platforms for cultural diversity.’”