| 03 Dec 2022
AIR to cover entire country through FM Radio in phased manner

NEW DELHI: All India Radio (AIR) has decided to start FM Radio services throughout the country including rural and far-flanged areas in a phased manner, where FM services are presently not available.

The criteria for choosing the locations include areas where there is no AIR FM service, strengthening FM coverage in the border areas, especially in the North East Region and Jammu and Kashmir to counter cross border propaganda and consideration of several representations received by the people’s representatives of State and Central Governments.

At present, AIR FM radio service is being provided from 373 cities/locations throughout the country.

During the implementation of FM Phase III, AIR has selected 212 new cities/locations throughout the country.

Prasar Bharati CEO, Jawhar Sircar told during an interview that he was conscious that the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) will ultimately take over, but this process may take some years and the attempt will be to reach out to the people through FM till affordable DRM sets are available.

A total of 243 Private FM radio channels are operational under the existing Phase II policy.

Cities/towns with a population of 300,000 and above besides State capitals were taken up for bidding during the first two Phases of FM radio broadcasting.

Under the Policy guidelines for expansion of FM Radio broadcasting services through private agencies (Phase-III), the Government has decided to e-auction 839 such channels in 294 cities/towns as per the laid down guidelines. The e-auctions will be conducted in batches.

Besides vacant channels of Phase-II cities/towns, Phase III will cover all other cities/towns with a population of above 100,000 according to the 2001 census are proposed to be covered at present, unless they are getting covered by adjacent cities/towns. In addition, 11 cities in border areas of Jammu & Kashmir and North Eastern States (with population of less than 100,000) are also included in the list.