BU PhD student Tony Stoller talks digital radio on BBC Radio Solent

BU PhD student and former chief executive of the Radio Authority Tony Stoller spoke on BBC Radio Solent about the switchover to digital radio.

Tony took part in Breakfast Show host Julian Clegg’s Big Conversation feature, which looked at new technology in the radio industry and the government’s decision not to switch off the FM frequency for digital DAB signals until after at least 2016.

“There’s been a lot of pressure on the government from some of the bigger battalions in radio to switch off FM because that way everyone is going to be forced to digital,” said Tony.

“But the government’s come up with a good solution – it says we still believe in digital, but not yet, and we’ll do some things to help digital along.”

He added that there were still some issues with the current digital DAB radio technology – including inconsistent signal and an inability to access some of the smaller, local radio stations.

“There’s a real question about the technology itself,” Tony said.

“There are two things you could do – you could make the present system better by finding a way of putting in a stronger signal. In some bits of the home it will work perfectly, but you may take it to one room where it may not work so well.

“The other thing you could do is look at other ways of doing digital radio. I can listen to radio through my television, on my computer, on my new tablet. There are lots of different digital options these days – you don’t want to be hung up on what we call a single platform for broadcasting.”

Tony’s PhD is looking at aspects of classical music on UK radio, and Julian asked him what made him leave the radio industry to go back to education.

“I wanted to study aspects of radio that interest me,” Tony said.

“Bournemouth University is a great place to do it, but it’s very hard.

“If I’d known what I was taking on, I might not have done it, but it’s huge fun as well.”

Listen to the programme (available for seven days after broadcast)