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Shortwave, again on viability
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Wednesday, 14 February 2007
The world is in a state of upheaval, and many tried and true institutions are suddenly being put into question. In the field of international broadcasting, one of the questions being asked is the viability of shortwave radio in the age of satellites and the Internet.

Virtually every leading international broadcaster is considering this question, and that includes NEXUS-IBA. We have been in contact with other organizations, and have also sought the advice of our members broadcasters and program produces, in order to formulate our own picture of the trends. Very importantly, we have been careful to distil truth from fiction and wishful thinking in drawing our conclusions. In our view, there can be no direct replacement of Shortwave as the first line of international broadcasting for at least another decade. At the same time, we acknowledge that satellites, the Internet and future digital broadcasts do have their place and will become increasingly important somewhere down the road. The announced advent of other forms of digital broadcasting (i.e. DRM, digital terrestrial broadcasting) - however - does not look to be so imminent, and above all receivers are not available to the masses yet to justify any serious investment in broadcasting. As far as Internet is concerned, both the high cost of being online and that of computer equipment do not make audio streaming a viable alternative to radio in most regions of the world, and especially in developing countries- yet.

It is not our intention to hinder progress. Although shortwave has been a mainstay of our operations for more than a decade now, we were very quick and early in identifying the growing potential of new technologies, and were actually the first broadcasting organization in Europe to offer streaming audio and video via the Internet.

In our investigations, we have become very concerned about certain commercial forces that would attempt to depict satellite and other technologies as a panacea. Based on the experience of other broadcasters and the thoughts of other qualified observers in this field, we caution against a too rapid transition into these new technologies at the expense of shortwave. Certain international broadcasters already fell into this trap and now regret it!

From the purely technical point of view, our own experience has proved that NEXUS-IBA can do the job of providing a competitive signal in Europe and almost to any region in the world, at economical rates -- on a non profit, non commercial, non discriminatory basis to anyone who has a message.
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