U.S. International Broadcasters Participate in DRM Tests

U.S. international broadcasters are participating
in tests of Digital Radio Mondiale (www.drm.org)
broadcasts designed to provide potential listeners with improved shortwave and
medium-wave (AM) reception.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (www.bbg.gov),
which oversees all U.S. nonmilitary international broadcasting, said DRM planned
to test broadcasts from Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
(RFE/RL), Radio Free Asia (RFA) and Radio Sawa, the Arabic-language station,
during June.

“We’re always interested in looking for new technology that will allow us to deliver accurate and objective news and information to more people around the world,” said Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, the BBG’s chairman.

DRM, a consortium of 80 members from 29 countries, is a digital system for short-wave, AM and long-wave with the ability to use existing frequencies and bandwidth across the globe. The BBG’s engineering office was an early partner in the consortium, which started in 1998. The first DRM broadcasts are set to begin this month in conjunction with the World Radiocommunication Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Commercial DRM receivers are not yet available for sale.

The BBG is an independent federal agency which supervises all U.S. government-supported non-military international broadcasting, including the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL); Radio Free Asia (RFA); Radio and TV Mart?, Radio Sawa and Radio Farda. The services broadcast in 65 languages to over 100 million people around the world in 125 markets.

Nine members comprise the BBG, a presidentially appointed body. Current governors are Chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, Joaquin Blaya, Blanquita W. Cullum, D. Jeffrey Hirschberg, Edward E. Kaufman, Robert M. Ledbetter, Jr., Norman J. Pattiz and Steven Simmons. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell serves as an ex officio member.