Is there a reasonable budget price range for setting up a community digital radio station? – Your Question Answered

Is there a reasonable budget price range for setting up a community digital radio station? What are some of the technical and regulatory requirements that you have seen with your clients?

(Idris Busari, US)

Setting up a community station from scratch is no mean feat but an absolutely worthwhile endeavour that will have a lasting impact on the community. To set up a community station you will primarily need a licence granted by the relevant independent and governmental authority and a site for your transmitter or antenna (some broadcasters use the top of high buildings or share the facilities with other broadcasters). As to the technical set-up, we assume that a studio is there or will be set up and its cost is known. The signal will go from the studio to the transmitter and for that you need a content server which will turn your audio into digital, preferably already at source i.e., the studio and an internet connection to link to the transmitter so that the MDI or digital signal can reach the transmitter. The cost of the transmitter, its modulator (in some transmitters already incorporated) of the content-server and antenna will depend on the power and coverage you want to achieve, the geographic position of the station (flat, mountainous). To get a real estimate you could put out a tender and compare prices and offers. You could also investigate if a network operator or distributor could take over the whole distribution aspect of the transmission. We are not-for-profit and do not have a ready price card as we are not commercial and therefore suppliers of equipment. But can support you in your endeavour to set up a valuable community station. Becoming a DRM member is a good first step.


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