Listeners slam BBC after Radio 4 scraps long wave for digital

Listeners have slammed Radio 4’s retreat from long wave as fears grow that older people will struggle with digital radio.

Last year, the BBC said that it will stop scheduling separate content for the long wave version of the station in “anticipation of the closure” of the platform.

Programmes that are on long wave but not Radio 4 FM include Test Match Special, editions of the Shipping Forecast, the Daily Service and a longer version of Yesterday in Parliament.

The shows will be available on other platforms once separate scheduling for long wave ends next March.

It is believed that the audience will be moved to the digital BBC Sounds audio platform if they want to listen to these programmes.

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The corporation says the long wave platform, which is “owned and operated by a third party”, is “coming to the end of its life as a technology”.

Authorities have been running an information campaign to help “transition listeners” to “alternative platforms”.

However, the decision has come under fire from those who oppose having to use the internet to hear shows and fear older and vulnerable listeners may be affected.

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The station’s Feedback show aired their concerns.

One user said: “I worry that the older demographic are going to struggle with DAB [Digital Audio Broadcasting] radio in particular.

“I also worry that in today’s very volatile world does it make sense to close down the one radio transmission that can be heard across the entire country?”

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Another said: “It’s not convenient, cost-effective or possible to use the internet in many circumstances.”

And another warned: “If Radio 4 leaves long wave, I shan’t bother to follow it online.”

The BBC said audiences for Radio 4 long wave were very small and that no programmes would close.

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