We have been asked to bring this matter to the public’s attention.
One issue that demonstrates the importance of longwave is the Brexit referendum. It would clearly be most unhelpful for RTE to cut this vital broadcasting service to the UK when it is in Ireland’s interest to be able to reach our emigrants resident in the UK on this important issue.
407, 000 UK residents are Irish born (UK Census 2011- footer)
These Irish are older than the average Irish cohort with a median age of 61.7 years (UK Census 2011- footer)
Their is a high likelihood these listeners will use traditional radios hence the importance of LW252 rather than digital.
5 Million UK residents have an Irish Grandparent and many will use Landbridge services on family visits.
RTE LW252 is the only broadcasting service available to 4M+ listeners using Landbridge ferries linking Ireland / UK ( see footer )
Foreign Affairs have funded UK listenership research.
The longwave service is vital. It is essential that this service be retained, for both Ireland’s interest and for the benefit of the Irish diaspora. But there is room for improvement as well –
Some areas including London experience interference, particularly at night, from the Algerian station, which also broadcasts on 252; that station has recently upgraded its hardware so that it can be heard by the Algerian Diaspora across France and is ten times stronger than LW252.
Ireland’s allocation of 252kHz dates from the Cold War propaganda era and was a compromise solution at the time. Since then many LW stations have closed leaving free broadcasting space as many have migrated to FM. We are fortunate in having the adjacent channel 261kHz now unoccupied.
A solution to the Algerian problem can be achieved at almost zero cost and with a little diplomacy by :
Restoring signal to full power. (F.O.I shows a power of 150kW but anecdotal evidence suggest further recent reductions)
Move to a clear spot on the dial (261kHz) to avoid R.Algeria that sits on top of the programme.
This is a relatively simple fix requiring no structural change to the tower other than minor adjustments at its base.
There is provision in the Final Acts of the 1975 Geneva Agreement for a change of channel.
In the past all LW stations in Europe changed frequency and most did so in one night including BBC R4 LW.
It is important to listen to the outcry that resulted when RTE attempted to close Radio One LW252. We await the publication of the UK listenership research ; we understand that thousands of listeners responded, attesting to the strength of the loyalty of the Irish in the UK to their radio service.
It is believed that in excess of 7,000 responded to this survey many filling in forms necessitating extra staff at the Research Centre.
UK Census 2011: http://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/generationemigration/2014/08/09/britain-still-attracts-largest-number-of-irish-emigrants/
An online petition below had 2,000+ respondents as detailed in PDF and accessible directly at link below the PDF :
(There were thousands of other signatures on paper delivered to RTE executives during a meeting at RTE’s offices in December of 2014.)
Archived media comment : savertelongwaveradio.com
Irish Overseas Broadcasting
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