RTÉ to continue broadcasting Radio 1 on 252 longwave

RTÉ is carrying out “significant remedial works” on transmission equipment to guarantee the continuance of Radio 1’s longwave service for at least another two years.

Upgrade works will ensure that the transmission of longwave radio continues for the Irish diaspora, a Fine Gael TD has said.

But the work is expected to interrupt the service for around 2 months.

Chair of the Oireachtas Communications Committee, Hildegarde Naughton, welcomed RTE’s decision to undertake the work.

Deputy Naughton said: “The maintenance of long wave radio for the Irish diaspora is a significant concern to the Committee. The UK regulator, Ofcom, will not grant RTÉ, as a non-UK broadcaster, the necessary licence to broadcast on digital in the UK at this time.

“After engagement between the Committee and RTÉ, I received a letter from the Director General of the national broadcaster committing to maintaining service into the future.

“The antenna upgrade requires bespoke manufacturing from a specialist supplier based in Canada and delivery of this element is expected by mid-September.

“The relevant mast at Summerhill is 248 metres in height and is a high-risk work environment. I am told that the weather, and more particularly wind speeds, will be the main determining factor on the commencement and the duration of the works.

“Unfortunately once this remedial work commences, the long wave service will have to be temporarily suspended.

“I understand that it will be out of commission for approximately ten weeks, but RTÉ has said it will endeavour to complete the works as quickly as possible.

“I welcome the efforts being made to continue this service, which serves as an invaluable link between the diaspora and home.

“However I intend to work with the committee to explore other longer-term alternative solutions to ensure this service continues,” Deputy Naughton concluded.

RTÉ has explored broadcasting on at least one DAB multiplex in the UK but has yet to gain permission, as Ofcom only allows UK-registered companies to be granted a licence.

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  1. Almorr says

    I don’t understand why Ofcom doesn’t allow RTE Radio 1 not to broadcast on DAB Radio here in the UK, they could change the rules at least for that station.
    There were suggestions recently that some company were going to open a DAB Multiplex for only stations from overseas, a bit like the World Radio Network which would be on DAB, but I have not heard anything more about that, RTÉ would of course be one of the stations on it IF it ever happened.

  2. Brian Greene says

    OFCOM can and do grant RTÉ licences for Multiplexes in the UK. RTÉ and TG4 have a jointly owned company registered in Belfast which have 12 years licences to broadcast DTT in Northern Ireland.
    There is also examples of Christmas FM (Ireland) broadcasting on DAB in Surrey and Wales through a UK registered company.
    And former UK culture minister Ben Bradshaw and former Irish Communications Minister Eamon Ryan signed a MoU on reciprocal broadcasting in each others territory which includes radio broadcasting.
    I wonder why any law needs to be changed. RTÉ has a UK subsidiary already with Mux licences.

  3. John Farrell says

    Iam sure lots of people at times use the old radio wireless set for listning to RTE 1 on LW and i think it would be a shame if this service ever ceased as it would leave thease beautifull symbols of our history redundant as it is the only station available on LW (as they have no FM) in many parts of ruarl ireland.

  4. Godfrey Hall says

    I am a journalist based in Somerset in the UK. My RTE service on long wave disappeared a few weeks ago. Do we know when it is likely to return. Thanks Godfrey Hall NUJ 099604.

  5. Patricia Dowdall says

    Dear R.T.E. Radio producers,
    Good Morning !
    I intend to say a mighty heartfelt plea to The Almighty himself, to soon make it possible to wake up to the warm , friendly sounds of Ireland , heard through R.T.E presenters here in the U.K.
    I am homesick And weary for longing to be in Ireland.
    Please do your very best .
    May God bless you all.

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