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January 26, 2011

Comments

Doug T.

This is extremely painful. Only two hours-a-day English service to Africa? No more English service to the Former Soviet Union? No more 648 KHz?

(I'm a bit confused by the announcement, since I thought the BBC ended World Service transmissions to the Caribbean in 2008.)

Mischa

"The 648 mediumwave service covering Western Europe and south-east England will end in March 2011".

This bothers me a lot! I heard the news yesterday on - yes - the BBC World Service. I live in the Netherlands and I enjoy the World Service daily on my half hour bike ride to work on 648Khz. What a loss that will be! Dutch radio doesn't even come close to the BBC in terms of quality...

I guess I have to turn to 693Khz then (BBC5), of which the reception quality is not up to the level of 648Khz. Does someone know a pocket-sized receiver more sensitive on MW than my Sangean DT120?

S Patrick

Radio Netherlands had major cut backs a few years ago, discontinuing it's service to North America directly through shortwave. Many others such as Slovakia, Radio Prague, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland have discontinued it's English SW service all together. Even the BBC no longer targets North America but that was 10 years ago. In other words, cuts to the BBC are nothing new.

Deustche Welle (Germany) going through the same problems as the BBC and RFI (France) has cut back services also. Voice of America has also cut back a lot of stuff. A lot have shifted to focusing on internet streaming.

Mischa, I'm a bike rider also and the problem with small am radios on the bicycle is they are small AM radios with small antennas and that your bike doesn't always travel in the same direction as AM ferrite antennas are very directional. All works against AM reception. Wish I had a better answer for you.

carmen

how about shortwave. on a recent bandscan in boston i found BBCWS English on 198, 3255, 6005, 6190, 7255, 9410, 9460 AM, and 90.9 FM

heres a timetable
http://blog.whats-your.name/public/bbc.html

Mischa

Thanks for your reactions! There might still be hope; a website has been brought up on which you can sign a petition to reconsider the BBC World Service cuts: http://www.savews.com/

If you also think it is important to keep this superb quality radio institute alive, please sign the petition.

Mischa

Well, this afternoon, cycling home and enjoying the BBC World Service while I still can, it became even more clear to me why shortwave radio is so important, and not something to phase out so lightly. The BBC reported about the chaotic situation in Egypt. Apparently, the authorities have cut off both Internet access and mobile phone traffic. This leaves the population without any unbiased news.

I already had my reserves about the reliance of modern society on Internet access, and here is a good example of how easily it can be cut off. The only way of getting uncensored news in a situation like Egypt experiences now, would be shortwave radio (or night-time MW, for that matter). This is just too precious to give up so lightly!

Chris

I have to agree with Mischa. What tiny percentage of the world actually has reliable, inexpensive access to the internet? It is a major disservice to the developing world to cut shortwave broadcasts.

Dan

I agree as well. Perfect example of why relying on "infrastructure" for communications is foolish. Shortwave is still relevant. As is Amateur Radio - when the internet and cell towers are shut off, radio waves still carry vital information.

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