This is the unfortunate conclusion of Les Sabel, a transmission expert speaking at a Digital Radio workshop in Kuala Lumpur. According to Mr Sabel, the cost of inaction on digital radio “is that listeners will go somewhere else.”
Well I should like to point out to Mr Sabel that that is only true if listeners actually have somewhere else to go. But if you don’t have access to the internet, or limited electrical supply, then the only medium to get information is via short wave radio.
The ‘workshop’ was predominantly targeted at S.E. Asian countries, which I would suggest are probably more able to take up the technical challenges of digital, and have the money to do so. But if you are a country with a GDP lower than the average UK city, this sort of move is not viable. Even if the money was available for the infrastructure, no one would be able to afford to use it. So poor countries and their people become marginalised.
Charities such as Ears to Our World provide wind-up radios to poor peoples to give them ability to receive information and education. This is only possible via the medium of short wave and could never happen with a digital system.
You can read the full report from the digital workshop here: https://www.radioinfo.com.au/news/staying-analog-radio-dead-end-digital-broadcasting-summit-kl