Enda O’Kane is a former RTE engineer on TV transmitters and latterly a Reception and Investigations Representative. He is active in the research group Irish Overseas Broadcasting and Emigrant Advice Network, having a focus on improving radio links to Irish emigrants in the digital age.
In a recently published proposal, Mr O’Kane puts the case for RTÃ‰ to invest in DRM shortwave transmitters. According to Mr O’Kane:
“An Irish radio service into the heart of Europe would help fuel our tourism industry and would serve to call back Irish emigrants, as well as inciting [sic] visits from those foreign to our country…. it would provide a badly needed travel information service to our business community that is otherwise unavailable. The Internet cannot provide a listening experience to people on the move. Neither is the RTÃ‰ Astra service receivable by motorists, or accessible in hotels and
apartments across the EU.”
Mr O’Kane continues: “A digital radio service across Europe would give complete independence, enabling broadcasters to further Irish interests in both programming and advertising. RTÃ‰ already owns the critical broadcast infrastructure. For a mere â‚¬4 million, the former Athlone mediumwave site could be adapted to digital shortwave and so provide a service to our citizens across the EU.”
Andy Sennitt comments: I find some of Mr O’Kane’s statements puzzling. For example “World band short wave radio is seeing a renaissance internationally. A survey in 1999 revealed that 97% of regular business travellers listen to international short wave.” I don’t recall seeing any such survey, but even supposing it was correct, the intervening eight years have seen a massive shift away from shortwave listening in Europe. I would be interested to know what readers make of the proposal, which contains other information that appears to be some years out of date.