RTÉ Radio 1 returns to 252 longwave after maintenance work

RTÉ Radio 1 has reappeared on 252 LW after being off-air for the last six weeks for significant remedial works.

The essential maintenance work will ensure the service can continue for at least another couple of years, according to a Fine Gael TD.

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

“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.”

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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7 Comments
  1. Alan Morr says

    Why did they not change the frequency slightly to 261 Kh, clear reception, 252Kh is shared by a powerful station Algeria3 which causes co interfence, especially at night in the south of Ireland and England as well.

    1. Enda O'Kane says

      RTE wants to make a case to close transmitter even though they have an obligation to serve diaspora. A change of channel to 261 is a near-zero cost overnight operation entirely indoors. Some posters elsewhere suggest that RTE could go ahead with the change to 261 as there are no stations that could suffer interference which is the basis of ITU Geneva Agreement 1975

  2. Des Walsh says

    The powers that be have been trying to close down the 252kHz RTE Radio 1 service for years, seeing it as ‘old fashioned technology’ and expensive. The young staff have no regard for it and do not realise its importance and seem to be mesmerised by digitally carried systems.Long wave would still be there when a catastrophic loss of digital media occurs, accidental or deliberate. Coverage could be of most of western Europe but the high power Algerian transmitter on the same frequency causes extensive interference even in daytime . RTE could move to 261kHz without much bother. Unfortunately most modern cars no longer include longwave ( or medium wave for that matter ) as designers cannot cope with the interference caused by engine/system electronics. DAB has been very limited from RTE and I prefer to call it Dead And Buried. Ongoing costs of longwave are a small fraction of overall spending , especially considering spending on low-brow television programmes. How much is RTE spending on the medium wave masts in Cork, Athlone and Tullamore ? Perhaps our government should fund the retention of RTE longwave ? Costs are a drop in the bucket compared to most government wastage !
    Des Walsh

    1. Enda O'Kane says

      All you have said makes sense. The internet in the past has collapsed in the U.S the result of a server being wrongly configured. When RTE launched fm it benefited from the availability of portable receivers allowing fm in the car / vertical polarisation. Not the case with BBC’s early launch requiring a rooftop antenna fixed hi-fi hardware. Stereo and RDS added complexities resulting in RTE’s coverage ending superior to BBC and hence the limited take-up of DAB.

    2. Almorr says

      I was listening to that Algerian channel 3 transmission some of the time RTÉ Radio 1 was off air, on A Friday and Saturday night they have a great programme of non stop disco dance 🎶 music. .

  3. Mike Terry says

    I agree Des, I particularly find DAB inferior in coverage.

  4. Enda O'Kane says

    Very well said Des considering there is a vacant slot next channel 261kHz that can be tuned to in a near zero cost overnight tweak.
    Our increasing unstable climate demands a backup as already stated.

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