It is strange that in our fast paced digital world, there are still some analogue legacy platforms in our daily lives that are actually slowing down digitalisation. No, I am not talking about returning the tax forms, or scanning in the travel expense claims. It is the good old FM radio that I am thinking about. Actually, to be precise, FM radio signals in Cable Networks. In many countries, it is still mandatory to carry FM signals together with Cable TV signals.

Well, you may ask: What does it matter? Isn’t this a problem that you can solve by just throwing a bit of bandwidth at it? It is a problem, because in the new DOCSIS 3.1 standard, frequencies up to 200MHz are planned for the return path. If the operators are obliged to carry legacy FM signals, they cannot take advantage of the potential return path bandwidth increase.

Technically it is today possible to carry radio programs in a DVB multiplex and use a TV set or Set top box as the receiver. Or even use the DAB technology in the cable. This would still allow carrying the FM signals in the air. I personally think that today, there are very few cable customers who have their radio receivers connected to the “cable” outlet in their living room. Isn’t it pretty much streaming audio all over, also at home?

I think it would be time to address this matter through the industry associations toward our politicians.

But like always, content is the King, and let there be Rock, Jazz, or Classic, whatever way you want it, but digital 🙂 .

Matti