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Italy: +39 02 266 6971 | UK: 020 3529 6775 | USA: 888-612-0039 info@nexus.org

DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale): Why not, yet?

Why don't you use DRM on Shortwave?

SW DRM capable 300kWTXDRM is the acronym of Digital Radio Mondiale, a technology intended to offer digital, almost FM quality to Shortwave, Long Wave and Medium Wave (AM) broadcasts. The first official DRM broadcast took place in 2003, in Geneva, Switzerland, at the ITU’s World Radio Conference.

Since then, some stations have modified or acquired new transmitters, run experimental broadcasts, in the hope that receiver manufacturers would have produced low-cost receivers, and listeners would have bought them. Up and until now, not low cost and mass-produced receivers, despite the many announcements made by the DRM consortium, have been made available to consumers worldwide.

Is DRM compatible with existing (analogue) radio receivers?

Unfortunately, DRM is incompatible with ordinary (analogue) Shortwave radios and requires buying new receivers, that are not currently available in mass production, or at a cost that is anywhere close to a conventional, analogue Shortwave receiver. Some DRM receivers require a PC and a special device to listen to DRM signals.

Does NEXUS-IBA have DRM broadcasting capability?

Our transmitters are DRM capable, and we already run preliminary tests with our developed DRM encoders. We are ready to broadcast using DRM at any time, but unfortunately, there are no mass-produced receivers for our listeners to buy at a reasonable price, and – most importantly – there are no listeners to justify a DRM service at present.

We have been following with great interest the development of DRM, and as soon as one of our members send us a request to start DRM broadcasts, we will do it. Currently, we advise them to wait and see until there are low-cost receivers available in mass production and a proved number of listeners using DRM radios in the desired target.

NEXUS-IBA Digital Radio Console

NEXUS-IBA is still very active on conventional Shortwave and Internet streaming because there are listeners out there, and there are regions in the world where analogue Shortwave is still popular, and still listened to. For example, according to what we hear from missionaries in Africa, the Far and Middle East and South America DRM will have a hard time to be popular in those regions for some time (if ever), due to the high cost associated in the conversion of the present Shortwave and Medium Wave receivers and transmitters to DRM capable devices.

DRM is a very promising technology, has several years delay over original plans, and – unfortunately – it is still confined as a technological experiment. Will it be successful, meaning that we will see soon lots of listeners embracing it? Ask the man in the street: unfortunately, marketing efforts to create awareness of this new potential media have not been started yet.

Some large companies are pushing DRM by convincing program producers and broadcasters to start airing in DRM ahead of time, but unless there are mass availability and penetration of receivers on the listeners side, this will remain (as it is still now) a technological experiment, and broadcasters using it to reach their listeners now, are clearly throwing their money out of the window.

Worldspace

Similar “experiments” were run in the past using analogue & digital satellite radio and WorldSpace. Worldspace was founded in 1990 and started broadcasting to Africa in 1999. It was a very promising technology, and service was intended to provide high-fidelity,  satellite radio to Africa and Asia using portable receivers. WorldSpace failed miserably in reaching an audience for different reasons, including the high cost of receivers and subscription that could only be sold to the elite, wealthy listeners in Africa, and not to the masses. Worldspace was marketed initially to listeners in Africa, and confined for years to embassies, consulates and a bunch of rich people on that continent.

300kW NEXUS-IBA DRM Transmitter

Satellite radio

We have seen something similar to DRM today happening for satellite radio in Europe. Back in the late 1990s, some government stations in Europe were fooled into believing that they could save a huge amount of money by switching off their Shortwave operation, and move them to satellite radio. Unfortunately, whoever owned a satellite receiver at home, they used to watch TV, not to listen to satellite radio. Satellite radio is not popular even today. It is not portable and mainly used only as a distribution media for radio relay stations. The advent of internet streaming – de facto – meant that satellite radio is now obsolete technology.

Sirius and XM, now SiriusXM in North America

DRM, Worldspace and Satellite Radio in Europe, Africa and Asia are not what Sirius and XM were in the USA.

Sirius and XM satellite radio, also available in homes and standard on most car radio receivers in the USA, have merged into SiriusXM and is an exciting, most effective and rather inexpensive technology to receive hundreds of channels, including some radio broadcasters from around the world.

Approximately 30 million people have subscribed to SiriusXM in North America according to 2019 data.

Is Europe too much a complicated market for digital rights to allow anything like SiriusXM to become available in the near future?

and … what about DAB?

There is a lot of criticism about switch-off of many AM (Medium Wave) and LW (Long Wave) radio stations in European countries (i.e, by RAI in Italy, Swiss Radio in Switzerland, BBC in the UK, NRK in Norway, France Bleu and France Info in France, public broadcasters in Germany, the Netherlands, in the Nordic countries, etc.). Medium and Long Waves were able to reach where FM or DAB signals do not reach, i.e. at sea, in mountain and in remote areas. In Italy, MW unused frequencies by the state broadcaster RAI were auctioned and are now used by local private broadcasters, which, for the greatest part, mimic private local FM stations, carry all sort of music, without any reliable news bulletins, traffic or weather information.

In November 2015, primer tests on the A5 motorway in NW Italy (from Turin to Aosta) confirmed the problematic reception of DAB due to the presence of tunnels and mountains. Even on motorways running across Paris, tunnels and bridges make DAB reception at least difficult if not impossible, Reception of radio broadcasting signals tunnels require the installation of radiating cables (“leaky-feeders”) along the tunnel ceiling. This approach is costly, and it is not yet clear whether it is feasible and when it can be adopted for DAB radio reception. In case of a switch off of FM radio as it is happening now in some countries, areas along mountain roads and in remote or isolated areas will be left without any broadcast radio signal reception.

DRM in India

Since 2012 the Indian government pushed the adoption of DRM on Medium Wave (AM) and to some limited extent on Shortwave to the exterior. Wide adoption in India is still challenged by the general unavailability of DRM capable receivers and their high cost (as of Oct. 2019 the expected retail cost in India has dropped by 50% and expected to be approximately 60-80 US dollars. Still much more than an ordinary FM radio receiver). The investment on the part of All India Radio (AIR) and the Indian Government in installing a large number of DRM Medium Wave transmitters in the country with the hope of mass availability of low-cost DRM receivers, is confronted by the fact that a larger number of FM transmitters may have allowed listeners to receive the same or better quality of audio at a fraction of the cost of buying a DRM receiver today (which are not available, anyway).

However, the challenge is that Medium Wave (AM) covers over 98% of the population in India using a lower number of transmitters, while only 37% of listeners can currently receive an FM radio signal. At the time of editing this post, a search on Amazon.in for DRM receivers produced no available products. The DRM consortium web site lists a minimal number of DRM capable receivers, although not generally available for purchase.

We wish DRM could have the same success in India and worldwide like SiriusXM in the USA, maybe, sometime in the future. However, DRM is very late into general acceptance by radio receiver manufacturers both on AM and Shortwave and limited by general adoption by broadcasters and listeners worldwide.

Bob Thomann (HB9GX), Swiss Merry-Go-Round shortwave radio program producer, dies at age of 90

Remembering Bob Thomann, the original Swiss Merry-Go-Round SW radio program producer

Our hearts are saddened by the loss of our old friend, Bob Thomann (HB9GX), who passed away on Saturday evening, August 3, 2019, at the age of 90.

Bob Thomann was the founder of the Swiss Shortwave Merry-Go-Round radio program, started on SBC/Swiss Radio International in the ’50s. Bob Thomann and Bob Zanotti (an American radio journalist from the New York area) later produced the program together in 1970 when Zanotti joined SRI from Canada. They co-presented what became a mailbag and DX technical program, which ended up known as “The Two Bobs” until the show was cut off by SRI management in June 1994.

Bob Thomann in Schwarzenburg

Bob Thoman (the other one of the Two Bobs) standing at the side of a vintage transmitter at Schwarzenburg

Although Bob Thomann never visited our station, in the late 80s’ he was Bob Zanotti’s technical expert and one of our silent and very “helpful hands” at IRRS-Shortwave and NEXUS-IBA. That was at the time (1988) when we set up our first Shortwave station and antennas in the outskirts of Milan, Italy. NEXUS-IBA’s first two Siemens transmitters were previously used by Radio Bern (Bernradio) aeronautical station located in Schwarzenburg, and very well known by the two Bobs.

You can read more about Bob Thomann and Bob Zanotti, the now-defunct Schwarzenburg station, and hear samples of the Two Bobs broadcasts on our blog.

Bob Thomann was a good friend of ours and a strong supporter of Shortwave broadcasting. We have lost a great supporter of International broadcasting, a wonderful person, and a dear friend. Rest in peace, Bob. We will miss you.

NEXUS-IBA and Milano Ventures Ltd. partnership

NEXUS-IBA selects Milano Ventures as partner

NEXUS-IBA selects Milano Ventures Ltd as global service partner

Global Media Content Delivery and International Broadcasting

Milano Ventures merges the competences and shares the values of NEXUS-IBA in offering strategic consultancy and opportunities to International Broadcasters, either secular and Christian, to reach any country in the world via (World) International Shortwave Radio, IP Streaming and Satellite.

NEXUS-IBA and Milano Ventures use the most advanced public & private cloud technologies, including CDN for fast & reliable streaming and broadcasting & media services for International organisations.

Get on the air on shortwave, satellite or streaming

Be like the BBC (*), VOA, CNN, Radio France Internationale, The Deutsche Welle  (*), Al Jazeera or your favourite international broadcaster and cover the world with a single broadcast, at less than the cost of one market on FM or terrestrial TV at home.

(*) The BBC World Service and Deutsche Welle are among the many world international broadcasters hosted on our station in Milan, Italy. As a NEXUS-IBA member, they broadcasted live headline news and information to the English speaking community in Milan.

Africa and Asia satellite coverage

Africa and Asia satellite coverage

NEXUS-IBA and Milano Ventures help you reaching any world corner, using one of the most powerful stations in the world, with more than 40 Million Watts (up to 43 MW ERP) on Shortwave radio, or via satellite radio & TV and Internet streaming.

How to Replace Satellite Radio Networks with IP

You can now save money using IP streaming to convey your audio or video stream from your production studio to our stations. You can save money, broadcast live and use your live stream connected to our CDN to make your content available to listeners in the Americas, Europe, Asia/Pacific and Africa.

NEXUS-IBA and Milano Ventures use WorldDirector CDN technology to transport digital audio or video signals and deliver content to millions of users worldwide.

Secular and Christian media

Milano Ventures and NEXUS-IBA do not discriminate against race, sex, language, or political or religious beliefs. We promote pluralism of information, human rights, free speech, political and religious pluralism, diversity, with particular attention to minorities, and above all ethnic, cultural, political, and religious minorities. We promote first hand information, apply no censorship to content providers, and make all efforts using the best available technologies to overcome those who blocks access to free flow of information on radio and TV using jamming or slowing down or denying cross-border Internet traffic.

Secular and religious broadcasting

On IPAR (International Public Access Radio) we promote news and feature programs in English and any other language that deals with sensitive issues such as freedom of speech. We can also target regions where freedom of speech is at stake, where governments block the Internet and censor communication and media.

Over EGR (European Gospel Radio) we promote Christian and religious programs aimed at worldwide evangelism, hosting any preacher, Minister, Church, missionary, confessional, non-denominational religious organisation or anyone who has something to say or to preach to the world.

Over our mainstream streaming channels or via client’s dedicated streaming audio (radio) and streaming video (TV) channels we offer a 24/7 presence accessible anywhere in the world. We use our WorldDirector CDN cloud-based services, not necessarily controlled by any of the major cloud providers or Governments, running on an independent Content Delivery Network (CDN) with Point of Access servers spread across the entire world. Working with an independent hybrid cloud vendor like Milano Ventures also allows greater independence over the control of corporations controlling Internet access and public clouds.

We think that our offer is a unique opportunity to any broadcaster or program producer to reach any country in the world, without barriers, using Shortwave radio, Satellite, TV, AM or Medium Wave radio and Internet streaming, in any possible combination.

The power of International media: Know your audience

International broadcasting is a lot like advertising: everybody agrees that it works, but it is difficult to quantify. The world’s largest broadcasting organisations have been deeply involved in audience research costing vast sums of money.

Even the largest International broadcasters on cannot accurately estimate the size of their audience to any program they air, to the same or even a comparable level of accuracy than any FM or TV station can do for any particular market.

How many listeners do we reach daily?

Since 1979, NEXUS-IBA founders have been working with worldwide Radio & TV Ministries, the BBC, the United Nations, UNESCO, and other major International broadcasters and media, and with those involved in Audience and International Media Research.

NEXUS-IBA International media content delivery around the world

Global media content delivery via NEXUS-IBA

Only the largest organisations like the BBC or the Voice of America can afford the cost of conducting some audience research on Shortwave. Some empirical data exists on the number of Shortwave receivers in each country, that lead to a potential audience of more than ten million in Europe and about the same in North Africa and the Middle East. These are regions that we can cover with a Grade-A signal using a 50 to 150 kW service on Shortwave. Other regions in Asia/Pacific or the Americas can be best covered using up to 300 kW. Most of the time we know that people are listening, because we monitor our signal quality continuously in several countries, and because listeners write to our members, our program producers and us.

International Audience Research

Graham Mytton, former Head of Audience Research of the BBC, stated:

People will go through the trouble of listening to shortwave, even when reception is difficult, if it provides something that they otherwise cannot get.

According to our experience – if your program has an impact, and is not available on local TV or FM & AM radio – then people will tune into your program to listen to it. Someone calls it word-of-mouth propagation, and for this reason and our long-standing experience we are well known among Shortwave listeners worldwide for our high-quality radio relay services, at non-profit cost.

Marketing and how to promote your program

Most of our broadcasters and program producers do fantastic work to advertise their broadcasts among their churches or community members overseas. Once they know that we provide an excellent signal in the target area, then they tune and may call other people to listen to, in a snow-balling effect. This is something you have to consider doing when you start airing, i.e., using your existing contacts to spread the news about time, frequency and area that we cover. We can provide help to people tuning in, and we usually forward letters or email addressed at the station that mentions your program, but we cannot often go as far as keeping you connected with the audience of your program. You should consider this as part of your mission as a Shortwave Broadcaster!

Global Media Outreach: How can you reach the whole world

For all the talk of satellite radio and TV, Shortwave radio remains the most cost-effective electronic mass medium that can span enormous distances instantly and penetrate every home in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific. Also, Shortwave radio is portable and is a companion wherever one goes. It is indeed the world’s most mobile electronic mass medium. Modern Shortwave receivers are ultra-compact, inexpensive, and very easy to use.

On Satellite, we can distribute your radio and TV signal via satellites around the world. Wherever the Internet is available, beyond the digital divide, we also complement our services with simultaneous audio (radio) streaming.

Build your own station

Milano Ventures and NEXUS will create your audio channels or your streaming radio station from scratch, including a visual player to be hosted on your website. Your streaming radio station can be based on your content, music, news, live events. We can also help to locate and integrating news, information and additional material to create a loyal audience. Typical applications include in-store radio, Church or Christian radio, group or interest-based radio, news radio services, music, political, foreign or vernacular language service.Build your own radio or TV station

Marketing, SEO and lead generation

Milano Ventures and NEXUS also help your organisation to create a modern communication strategy, i.e., creating real opportunities to make an impact with innovative services, such as marketing automation, fundraising, lead generation, on-demand marketing, online presence, and social media management. NEXUS-IBA and Milano Ventures help secular and Christian organisations to increase fund-raising opportunities and to fund their mission and outreaching Ministries.

marketing, SEO and lead generation fro your company or organisation

Continuous innovation and research in new technologies

With the help of Milano Ventures, the NEXUS association strengthens its position as Innovator and Technology Mediator or facilitator. We enable NEXUS-IBA’s members worldwide, as well as end-users, to make full use of innovation and the recent developments of technology in media, including broadcasting, social media and the Internet.

Innovation in new technologies

Our volunteers

People volunteering for NEXUS-IBA are professionals, teachers, university professors and researchers, journalists, students and engineers, most of them devoting their spare time and resources as a public service to the global community. On June 15, 1995, NEXUS-International Broadcasting Association was officially approved for association with the Department of Public Information of the United Nations, and for more than 20 years has been actively working in promoting the work and activities of both UN and UNESCO. Researchers at NEXUS-IBA created the first load-balanced cloud and Content Delivery Network (CDN) called WorldDirector, later used by Milano Ventures and their clients in Europe and the USA.

our volunteers

Innovation in the Cloud

Most of Internet and cloud-related services and applications are delivered to end users, fast and reliably over the WorldDirector platform, including streaming audio and video services on behalf of our stations and members.

Innovaton in the cloud and internet

About the NEXUS term

The NEXUS term was chosen because this Latin word says it all: a link or point of connection, using international media, radio, TV and cloud services to link content providers with their audiences. But NEXUS also stands for more than just a physical connection using a variety of technologies. It also means World communication and promoting freedom of speech around the world. When an individual or an organisation becomes part of NEXUS-IBA, they are part of a dynamic, highly professional and creative team devoted to utilising the latest technologies to deliver their content at the lowest possible cost.

NEXUS-IBA team: the cultural radio link

Milano Ventures (Dublin, Ireland) is proud to be selected NEXUS-IBA’s partner to service their membership and commercial clients, service and and maintain their cloud and broadcasting infrastructure across all continents.

From Dublin, Ireland, Milano Ventures Ltd. offers content media delivery services worldwide both to NEXUS-IBA’s members and commercial clients. Services offered by Milano Ventures include: international broadcasting, disaster recovery, professional e-mail, software and application development, domain registration, web marketing & SEO, high reliability WorldDirector cloud hosting and related consulting services.

NEXUS-International Broadcasting Association (NEXUS-IBA, Milan, Italy) is a non-profit association founded in 1990. NEXUS-IBA provides its membership all necessary means for the effective dissemination of content on radio, TV, the Internet and any media in general. NEXUS-IBA reaches every country in the world. Radio and TV broadcasters, as well as small program producers from all-over the world make use of NEXUS-IBA’s Internet media streaming & distribution, radio, TV and satellite broadcasting services to reach audiences worldwide.

Milano Ventures, Dublin, Ireland

Europe’s Cultural Radio link

NEXUS-IBA IRRS cultural radio link

The Cultural Radio Link to Europe

 

IRRS-Shortwave

In 1987, a small group of idealistic and highly dedicated people with broadcasting experience of their own had the idea of starting a Shortwave radio station to act as a link between independent cultural program makers and the European Audience. The Shortwave medium had been recognised for years as the most effective means of reaching the largest number of Europeans by radio and for the high quality of its audience. “The Italian Radio Relay Service” (also known as “IRRS” or “I-double-R-S“) went on-the-air in November 1988 and was an immediate success.

The founders of NEXUS-IBA used their funds to finance the necessary equipment and initially used the facility in their spare time on Saturdays and Sundays to broadcast their programming consisting of music, discussion programs, topical presentations, vintage radio shows, and plays. IRRS-Shortwave quickly became a unique part of the European shortwave scene and attracted a lot of publicity and interest. The experiment was so successful that enquiries poured in from other program producers who were also anxious to use Shortwave, but could not afford the high rates for airtime charged by the established commercial relay stations.

Soon afterwards, IRRS-Shortwave began airing the current affairs and cultural programs of leading international, intergovernmental agencies (I.e. United Nations, UNESCO and other UN agencies) and special program services produced by other broadcasters. Thousands of listeners praised their content as being of quality and nature not available elsewhere. The much older NEXUS’ FM station (1979-1999) was created as the relay of the BBC World Service in Milan and a major source of multilingual programs in Italy’s most important industrial and commercial centre.

NEXUS-IBA Keywords

And so, the NEXUS/IRRS idea grew. Founded in 1990, with its seat in Milan, NEXUS-INternational Broadcasting Association (NEXUS-IBA) is a non-profit association founded under Italian Law. Proof of NEXUS-IBA’ established position in international broadcasting is the fact that it earned a coveted separate listing in the prestigious “World Radio and TV Handbook” and “Passport to Worldband Radio“, the leading “Who’s Who’s” in international broadcasting. In the religious broadcasting field, some internationally known and respected radio ministries have also become NEXUS members. NEXUS-IBA created special Christian radio segments on its programming, branded as “European Gospel Radio” or EGR, becoming one of the leading outlets of multilingual spiritual programming in Europe. NEXUS-IBA is, however, strictly non-denominational and open to anyone with a message to tell the world.

According to the Italian Broadcasting Act of 1990, the Association is designated as a “non-profit community broadcaster operating in the public interest”. NEXUS-IBA makes broadcast time and consulting available to members of the Association. Membership fees are very modest and entitle members to the lowest airtime rates billed directly by preferred commercial service providers. The small volunteer NEXUS-IBA administrative staff is highly dedicated and receives no remuneration beyond legitimate expenses. All members contributions above rents, electrical, and maintenance costs go back into the Association to guarantee the lowest possible airtime rates.

NEXUS-IBA is based in Italy but is truly international in its scope and philosophy. Current programming is in English, French, Spanish, German and in the Oromo language to East Africa. Programs may be in any language and deal with any subject. The NEXUS-IBA Executive Council exercises no censorship or control and intervenes only in cases where there might be a clear conflict with or violation of Italian or European Law.

IRRS-SHORTWAVE: THE TECHNICAL SIDE

Program producerUntil 2001, NEXUS-IBA operated on Shortwave from Milan, Italy, with two SIEMENS transmitters of extremely high quality and reliability. Although capable of standard AM (double side-band) transmission, NEXUS-IBA chose to operate with the much more effective and efficient “A3A” modulation, i.e. Single Side-Band, reduced carrier mode, as recommended by the International Telecommunication Union. In this way, our signal has the same communication power as a conventional AM transmitter of 30 kW, while remaining completely compatible with non-SSB receivers. Careful frequency management and the use of digital audio processing techniques assured a signal strength and subsequent high station profile all over Western Europe, the Mediterranean area and over the iron curtain into Eastern Europe.

Today NEXUS-IBA operates with high power Shortwave transmitters located in Europe, with transmitter powers of 50, 100, 150, 200, 250 and 300 kW. Using high gain curtain HF antennas, we can reach every corner of the world with a maximum ERP (Effective Radiated Power) of approx. 87 million Watts.

From concept to transmission, NEXUS-IBA is on a solid basis and would be happy to welcome your organisation as one of our affiliate broadcasters.

WHO NEEDS NEXUS-IBA?

Anyone who wants to talk to Europeans by radio in the most cost-effective manner.

Do you remember the pictures that went around the world during the Gulf War, showing people glued to their shortwave radios to get the latest news from the outside world? During that crisis, sales of Shortwave receivers skyrocketed leaving dealers with empty shelves. Shortwave once again demonstrated its importance and effectiveness. For all the talk of satellite radio and TV, Shortwave radio remains the most cost-effective electronic mass medium that can span enormous distances instantly and penetrate every home in Europe. Also, Shortwave radio is portable and is a companion wherever one goes. It is truly the world’s most mobile electronic mass medium. Modern Shortwave receivers are ultra-compact and very easy to use.

NEXUS-IBA offers direct access to millions of listeners in the world, across the digital divide, in areas where often there is no access to the Internet, no electricity, and no local radio or TV station.

Do you remember when a telephone call between the U.S. and Europe cost $5.00 a minute? Today that same call costs a fraction of that amount. Thanks to cost-saving modern technology and, above all, automation, the miracle of international broadcasting has also become affordable for everyone. As specified in its legal charter, NEXUS-IBA makes this non-profit service available on Shortwave, AM radio (Medium Waves) and with free radio streaming over the Internet.

The non-profit NEXUS system has cut overhead to the bone, but not at the cost of quality service. The small, dedicated NEXUS staff is non-salaried. This fact, along with computerisation coupled with state-of-the-art transmission equipment ensure NEXUS members reliable, top-quality, worldwide coverage.

WHO WILL I REACH?

satellite to Europe

Technically-speaking, your message will reach every household and individual with a shortwave radio. Dedicated broadcasts, using high gain antennas that can be beamed to any country, can provide almost local quality reception in any region in Africa, Asia/Pacific, Europe or in the Americas. And there are millions of more travellers who carry shortwave with them to keep in touch with the world and for companionship along the way.

Perhaps more important is the quality of the shortwave audience. Shortwave listeners are well known for their above average education, open-mindedness, and interest in international, intellectual, and cultural affairs. Besides that, you will be in excellent company on NEXUS-IBA and European Gospel Radio, which have already been used for years as relays by international broadcasters and official international agencies of the highest standing.

NEXUS-IBA OFFERS MORE THAN JUST AIRTIME

fast cloud services

Our non-profit organisation has expertise in Shortwave International broadcasting going back more than 40 years. We offer “total counselling” free of charge. We want to help you make your broadcasting mission a success.

Whatever your programming, NEXUS-IBA will help you reach the right audience at the right time. If desired, this free counselling includes editorial as well as technical assistance, custom tailored to your individual needs. We offer extremely flexible scheduling, ranging from regular daily and weekly service to sporadic, ad hoc broadcasting of individual programs to any world target. We are prepared for short-notice service, and for program material fed by satellite, FTP uploads, live streaming or even old-style telephone feeds.

NO ONE IS TOO BIG NOR TOO SMALL TO BE PART OF NEXUS-IBA

Smaller programmers will appreciate the value for money of the NEXUS system made possible by its non-profit basis. Larger program institutions should be aware that, even if they operate their facilities on Shortwave, NEXUS-IBA reaches a very loyal and high-quality fragment of the Shortwave market that may not make a habit of listening to other stations.

Our listeners have repeatedly expressed appreciation for the unique variety and quality of NEXUS-IBA programs, reflecting the wide range of NEXUS-IBA members. Perhaps you have “minority” program material that is not suited to your regular operations, or for which no time is available on your regular outlets. The chances are that this material will find a grateful audience via NEXUS-IBA.

Furthermore, NEXUS-IBA has no political and no religious affiliation. It has a very liberal editorial policy and does not edit or censor material unless in crass violation of official legal guidelines. With NEXUS-IBA you get your message on-the-air the way you want it heard. You are not at the mercy of a production middleman.

We could go on. But we think it would be more productive to talk with you directly about your particular needs. Whether you are involved in cultural, political, tourist, current affairs, or religious programming, NEXUS-IBA was created to serve your needs.

Please contact us for detailed information at no cost or obligation. You are just a ‘phone call or email away from your direct link to the World Shortwave market. And don’t forget our live streaming radio services, serving the international community from our streaming servers in Europe, Asia and the USA.

With its seat in Milano, Italy, NEXUS-International Broadcasting Association is a strictly non-profit association founded under Italian Law that operates IRRS-Shortwave, European Gospel Radio and IRRS-Medium Wave to Europe. NEXUS-IBA makes available broadcast time, with no commercial advertising on the air and, currently, with no corporate underwriting and no government sponsorship.

For more information please contact:

NEXUS-International Broadcasting Association, Milan, Italy.
Italy: +39 02 2666971
UK: +44 20 3529-6775
USA: (201) 540-0996
Toll-Free: 888-612-0039

or email: info@nexus.org

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The Future of Shortwave broadcasting

Following the HFCC A19 HF radio coordination conference held in Tunis from Jan. 21-25, 2019, our partner Milano Ventures Ltd. published an interesting article giving both listeners and international broadcasters a perspective of current International media delivery trends and focusing on the importance of analogue Shortwave.

“… there can be no direct replacement of Shortwave as the first line of international broadcasting, especially for most of Africa, some regions in Asia, Pacific and South America and worldwide in case of political or religious instability, regional or widespread conflict and calamities.

Even in the most developed countries in North America and Europe shortwave still reaches a niche group of information savvy, culture and news addict people in search of first-hand news and information not available elsewhere.”

We share this view and believe there is still no other cost-effective media than Shortwave that can bridge the digital divide, considering that according to the World Bank database (2016) World Internet coverage is just 45%, less than 20% in sub-Saharan Africa, and 25% in South Asia. Read more about the Future of Shortwave on Milano Ventures’ website. Also including our perspective on DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) and digital radio receivers.

2016 World data on Internet penetration

Individuals using the Internet (% of the population)
Source: The World Bank

Forshia Ross: From Ashes to Roses

From Ashes to Roses

“To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:3)

Over 20 years ago, during a time of extreme personal hardship within her life, the Lord spoke to Forshia’s heart that one day she would write a book about her journey to wholeness. At that time, Forshia marveled at the thought and wondered how this could ever possibly happen. It would be many years before this came to fruition; however, it did, and “No Secondhand Rose” was birthed and honored by her second book, “The Wilderness Shall Blossom like the Rose”.

Who would have ever believed that now Forshia Ross’ second book, “The Wilderness Shall Blossom Like the Rose” would be made into a Feature Documentary Film by award winning Director, Producer and Writer Dr. Kevin McAfee. He is a film veteran of over 42 years and has directed such movies as End of the Spear, Beyond the Gates of Splendor and Last Ounce of Courage, to name a few. In 2015, at Disney Studios, he received the LIFETIME HUMANITARIAN AWARD for LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT. He has won over three dozen International Film Festivals, including Hollywood, New York, Buenos Aries, London, Copenhagen, and Berlin to name a few. Forshia is one of only a handful that has been chosen within the last number of years for such an incredible opportunity as this. Forshia says: “I am both humbled and honored at the potential to reach people for Christ on a much larger scale.”

If you would like to download a free excerpt from Forshia Ross’ book, “The Wilderness Shall Blossom Like the Rose,” please visit her website at www.forshiaross.org.

Over the years during ministry times of speaking people would often say, “Forshia, you seem to hear God’s voice so clearly. How did you know that’s exactly what I needed?” God has given Forshia a unique ability to identify where people are in their struggles and bring them where they need to be because she has been there. People are amazed as Forshia provides just the right keys to unlock the hindrances of the heart that keep them from serving God with greater joy and purpose.

Change happens! Healings happen! Nothing is impossible when God speaks His plan and purpose! Forshia’s passion is to see His redemptive plan played out in the lives of others. She desires everyone she comes in contact with to experience healing as promised in Isaiah 61. Fosrshia knows you won’t be disappointed when you discover that God wants the best for you and the dreams and visions He has placed in your heart can come to pass.

A licensed and ordained minister, Pastor Forshia Ross is a dynamic speaker, author and founder and director of Treasures from the Heart Ministry. She has a television and radio program, which gives practical Biblical insight for daily living. Transplanted from the Washington, DC area in 1994, where her husband was stationed at Andrews AFB and later the Pentagon, they have now made their home in southern New England. Forshia can regularly be heard on European Gospel Radio, a NEXUS-IBA station on Shortwave to Europe and North Africa and AM/Medium Wave to Europe.

 

 

EMR’s founder Tom Taylor passes away

European Music Radio's Founder Tom Taylor passes away

It is with deep sadness that we announce that Tom Taylor, also known as Barry Stephens, former founder of European Music Radio, and passionate Shortwave radio enthusiast heard many times over our station passed away on the 22nd of January 2018. He is survived by his wife Jan, his son Jonny, and Lou his daughter.  Tom Taylor

We exchanged emails last November with Tom, and he wrote about his illness. Tom was extremely eager to return to the air in 2018. Tom has always been very proud of turning a legal broadcaster when joining us after he was operating a low powered Pirate station in London in 1976. During the last years, he has been partnering with other small program producers and helped them turning legal as well.

Tom Taylor in 2017

We are loosing a very good friend and a passionate radio lover alike. We are all going to miss him greatly at NEXUS.

We preempted our current scheduled broadcasts and will be repeating the last EMR program that Tom sent to us  over the next weekend according to the following schedule:

  1. Friday, Feb 2, 2018, 1900-2000 UTC on 7290 kHz (150 kW to EU) and 846 kHz MW
  2. Saturday, Feb 3, 2018, 0900-1000 UTC on 9510 kHz (150 kW to EU)

Tom’s EMR program will also be repeated at various other times on 846 kHz during the week starting Feb. 5, 2018, from 7 PM until 01 AM Central European Time on 846 kHz to Southern Europe, and available via live streaming.

We wish Tom good reception from the heavens. Enjoy, and keep listening to Shortwave.

Very best 73s.

Hello There archives

Hello There

The Hello There listeners’ mailbag program, was just about the only production of NEXUS-IBA and regularly broadcasted show on IRRS-Shortwave (“I-double-R-S Shortwave, the Italian Radio Relay Service”). Alfredo Cotroneo, one of the founders of NEXUS-IBA,  hosted the program from 1989 until the late 1990s. He read and answered questions sent in by snail mail from all over the world.

During the early years of operation, the most exciting letters on the Hello There program were coming from Eastern Europe, i.e. from East Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Hungary, and of course from the former Soviet Union (USSR). Shortwave was – at that time – the only way to receive news and information from the West, and IRRS-Shortwave was quite loud and clear all over Europe, and, most importantly, being a small, independent, non-governmental station, had never been jammed by Eastern European governments.

Letters to IRRS and the Hello There program were often smuggled across the East-West Berlin border by couriers and had an address in West Berlin for any reply to be sent to. Sometimes letters came directly from behind the iron curtain to our famous PO Box 10980 mail address in Milan (this address is no more active since 2015), and occasionally they were opened, and paragraphs were obliterated using sturdy coloured ink by censors.

The Hello There program ran initially for 30 minutes but was reduced to 15 minutes during the last few years until it was suspended. It included occasional phone interviews on technology, the early use of the Internet, international broadcasting, DXing and pirate radio.

Besides being broadcast on Shortwave from Milan, Italy, some the excerpts presented here were also part of the first RealAudio tests at Internet Radio NEXUS dating back to 1995. They have been converted to the MP3 format are kept online for historical reasons only, and may have no actuality value. Due to recent cuts in our budget, we are unable to bring you these items regularly as much as we would like to do. Please consider becoming a NEXUS-IBA sponsor.

On March 28, 1998,  the glorious HF broadcasting station at Schwarzenburg, just a few kilometres out of Bern, the capital of Switzerland, was shut down forever. At NEXUS-IBA we have special memories linked to the technicians and the station itself, as both of our first 10 kW Siemens transmitters that were previously used by Berna Radio’s aeronautical service come from the Schwarzenburg broadcasting station.

Still, on old tube radio receivers around Europe, you may find the word Schwarzenburg on the illuminated scale, but now the Schwarzenburg station has been wholly dismantled and won’t be on the air anymore. Founded in 1934, Switzerland’s shortwave voice was heard from this glorious station around the world even during world war II as one of the few sources of reliable and objective information.

The Swiss PTT operated the HF transmitting station at Schwarzenburg until the end of 1997 when Swisscom took over as a private company. The station itself was used for telephony transmissions around the world, for aeronautical and maritime services, and also by SRI, Swiss Radio International, that for a few more years continued transmitting on shortwave from other locations in Europe and around the world.

You can hear the whole story from the two Bobs (Bob Thomann and Bob Zanotti), who, sadly, and for the last time, reported from the transmitter room in Schwarzenburg.

 

Farewell to Schwarzenburg, March 28, 1998, by the two Bobs [20:21]

by Bob Thomann and Bob Zanotti (Swiss Radio International)

A tribute to the two Bobs : Bob Thomann and Bob Zanotti and their last "Swiss Merry goes round" [14:36]

Special on Waco & sects (part1) (from Hello There) [31:01]

Special on Waco & sects (part2) (from Hello There) [25:48]

VideoCrypt Hacking on European satellite TV (from Hello There) [13:39]

Pirate Radio in Canada: Pirate Rambo [08:37]

Interview with Bill Pfeiffer - Moderator of rec.radio.broadcasting - on micro-radio (from Hello There) [13:26]

Interview with Universal Life's Primordial Christians (from Hello There) [13:51]

Internet Radio NEXUS Listeners’ comments

From our mailbag: Internet Radio NEXUS (IRN) Listeners' comments

Here are some of our early Internet radio listeners’ comments, dating back in 1995, when we were the first to start such streaming service in Europe and the USA:

Date: Fri, 02 Jun 95 20:40:20 -0700 Subject: (no subject) Hey folks just wanted to drop a quick note telling you I enjoyed your web-page. cool stuff, and a bit easier that getting you on shortwave here in New York 😉 do you QSL for web contacts?? 😉 ( just joking 😉 Tnx again!


Date: Sat, 03 Jun 95 11:34:06 -0700 Subject: Realaudio in The Netherlands Hello, Thanks for being on realaudio, i had never heard of your radio-station and just a few minutes ago, saturday 03/06/95 11.15 am Dutch Time, i located you on the short wave 7.125. The quality at the moment is bad, but i could follow the discussions. What i very much like is the information about UN on realaudio. Good luck and regards, Hans.


Date: Sun, 04 Jun 95 04:08:45 0600 Subject: (no subject) Keep up the great work with the Real Time Audio. I will be stopping by often to check out your progress. This has to be the start of something very BIG. Thanks for being on the forefront of this new technology. Rees Roberts Racine, Wisconsin USA


Date: Wed, 07 Jun 95 22:26:52 -0700 Subject: internet radio I want to congratulate you for a very nice page with interesting programs. It’s very nice for Americans to be able to hear broadcasts in languages other than English. Reception in San Francisco, California, is excellent tonight, 7 June, 1995. I hope you stay on-line and increase your services and available European programs. ————————————————————– ruth …a tout a l’heure….


Date: Thu, 08 Jun 95 21:08:30 -700 Subject: Internet Audio Receiving your programs loud and clear over the Internet in San Jose, California. Hope you keep it up! Mick


Date: Sat, 10 Jun 1995 16:07:46 -0700 Subject: RA Audio News Reports Dear Sirs, I wish to express my compliments on the fine work your group has done with this Web site. As a student of Foreign Relations, I found the stored audio news reports very informative and useful in my attempt to manitain awareness of world current events. The almost constant availablity of this information through the Internet allows me to access the information needed to assist my academic activities. I hope that this Web site can continue to be maintained beyond its test period and I am looking forward to continued access to all posted information. Thank you Sean Fannin University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, Ohio – USA


Date: Thu, 08 Jun 95 21:08:30 -700 Subject: Internet Audio Receiving your programs loud and clear over the Internet in San Jose, California. Hope you keep it up! Mick


Date: Sun, 11 Jun 95 08:42:04 -0700 Subject: (no subject) Your programs in the Internet are the only way to receive such great programs here in California. Please continue your work in the Net. I liked the segments of “Hello There”. Good job!! — Eduardo Villaseca


Date: Mon, 12 Jun 95 17:50:13 -0700 Subject: I have listened Hi! My name is Per and I live in Stockholm Sweden. I’ve just been listening to some of your programs, here on the WWW. It works quite fine with the Real Audio. I’m a DXer and radio-fan, so please put more radio related programmes on the Web. Thanks. 73 de Per


Date: 13 Jun 1995 12:30:40 -0700 Subject: (no subject) Congratulations on your audio site. I’ve just been listening here in Cork (Ireland) and reception is excellent. The quality is basically equivalent to reasonable MW, better than typical SW, with only the occastional break or jump in the datastream.I can’t tell you much about the technical side of the connection here – my pc, which has its own IP address, is connected via a university VAX mainframe. Piaras Mac Einri Department of Geography University College Cork Ireland


Date: Thu, 15 Jun 1995 00:47:10 +0200 Subject: internet radio Great idea and it’s even working! Please do go ahead! Greetings from Munich Rudolf Kuffner Bavarian Radio Broadcast, ARD


Date: Tue, 20 Jun 95 12:15:49 -0700 Subject: (no subject) I just wanted to write and say that I really enjoy your service. The Spanish language material is especially appreciated. Thanks Patrick Findlay


Date: Tue, 20 Jun 95 13:25:22 -700 Subject: thanks for providing the radio service Just wanted to thanks you for providing the real audio radio broadcasts. I really like being able to have access to non-American broadcasts/news. It is much more convenient to listen to real audio than to use a shortwave. Thanks.


Date: 22 Jun 1995 17:33:14 -0700 Subject: (no subject) Dear Sir/Madam, Further to my message last week from Cork (Ireland). Reception continues to be excellent – the quality would not be acceptable for anything except voice at present, but it is entirely adequate for this purpose. Curiously, I note that the quality is conistently better than the only other current European site, a UK newspaper, which is virtually inaudible as the sound continually “breaks up” and is not really comprehensible. I have no idea why reception from Italy should be so much better, when the packet-switching networks involved presumably work to comparable standards. I hope that you can continue to find a way to maintain your service, although I note that it is currently scheduled to stop in mid-July. It could provide a powerful means of countering much of the ill-informed and biased propaganda against the UN which has become so prevalent nowadays, especially in the United States of America. Having spent three years in a diplomatic posting in Lebanon and having seen at first hand the efforts of much-maligned UN forces on the ground, compared to the distorted media coverage which they often received, it is time for a more effective answering voice. Regards Piaras Mac Einri


Date: Fri, 23 Jun 95 16:53:12 -0100 Subject: Keep IRN in the net! Dear IRN, I¹m a listener from Hamburg, Germany, and I like your program best, looking around, what my be intersting and litening to your programm (I choose myself), when I can¹t stand the ²old³ radiostation in my hometown anymore ­ which happens quite often. I love “Radio on demand” as you do present it, and I hope, you¹ll survive the 15th of July best regards mic:­)


Date: Mon, 26 Jun 95 05:12:59 0000 Subject: (no subject) I AM TESTING REALAUDIO AND FINDING YOUR PROGRAMS ON THE NET WAS MARVELLOUS ! GREAT ! PLEASE DON’T GIVE UP ! – PIERPAOLO SARDELLI –


Date: Mon, 26 Jun 95 01:31:33 -0700 Subject: Internet Radio Nexus’s future As a long time shortwave listener and fairly new Internet surfer I really can appreciate the melding of the 2 mediums. Not long after I began exploring the web I realized just how similar it was to shortwave listening and felt it to be an extention of my interests in world culture outside my own back yard. I would encourage you to keep the site going as long as you are finacially able. I love RealAudio the possiblities it provides makes sites like yours very exciting ! I’ll be visiting this site often !


Date: Tue, 27 Jun 1995 14:02:29 EDT Subject: Listening in Boston! Just a quick line to say that I don’t have a shortwave receiver, That means that your audio files — in any form — .au, .wav. .ram, etc — are of the greatest interest to me, I’ve already listened to several of your programmes and been very impressed with them all. Please keep up the good work, and if you can, PLEASE * do NOT * stop your Internet broadcasts in mid-July! 🙂 Thanks again! F Tikhon


Date: Wed, 28 Jun 95 20:29:00 -700 Subject: Feedback Very good initiative. When this idea develops and spread, it will bee a good effort to bring us together on the globe. We can keep in contact with our place of birth and language even if we move to other areas on the globe. Interested people can check in and ithers point if view. God Luck. /Christer


Date: Sun, 02 Jul 95 07:05:33 -0700 Subject: comments re your web site I thought I would put my oar in here and let the powers that be it would be a shame to let your wonderful service die! I believe that the concept of real time audio over the net is one of enormous possibilities. It is going to be tough for any firm that is pioneering this form of media, but the pay-offs would be tremendous. Just think of the power of reaching 10’s of MILLIONS of listeners. Regards, VBH


Date: Wed, 28 Jun 95 23:13:04 -0700 Subject: Keep it alive Anna, I like the idea of REAL news here in the US. Its so hard to get a clean feed from the world news organizations with commercial and political fingers in all the pies. I’m not too keen on sending Money over the Internet, though. Can you give me a *real* address? Emil


Date: Thu, 29 Jun 95 22:40:27 0000 Subject: (no subject) Ho sentito, funziona tutto molto bene. Mi piacerebbe avere piu’ file in italiano da scoltare. Sara’ possibile in futuro avere un gateway in tempo reale delle trasmissioni che vanno sulla radio? Saluti, Carlo Maupoil


Date: Wed, 05 Jul 95 19:51:48 -0100 Subject: Please do stay… Hello, it’s terrible actually that you’re going to close down, but what can I do about it? I don’t have the cash to support you. I can only say that your experiment has indeed succeeded and that the work should definitely be continued. I love the extra news about ex-Yugoslavia because I’m involved in what’s going on because of my profession as a radiographer. So I really do hope that you are going to stay and keep doing what you have been doing until now. The implementation of ‘RealAudio’ is fabulous and of invaluable importance to the development and the future of the Internet and also to the way information will be provided and looked up. By the way, you’re the only European source of interesting RealAudio material and sincerely don’t want to listen to the American crap and ‘bull shit’ talk shows or whatever america-centric barbarity! Greetings from Amsterdam, Ronald


Date: Thu, 6 Jul 1995 12:04:24 -0400 Subject: feedback you are great! please, continue! I’m working with the Austrian Shortwave Radio & I really think that it is a big work that you are doing. Oswald Klotz


Date: Thu, 06 Jul 95 12:52:19 -0600 Subject: Stay on the “air”, Please! I found out about your site a little over a week ago. Since then I’ve been back at least 5 other times. You are one of the few sites that actually has something interesting to offer in RealAudio sound clips. I don’t have a shortwave receiver, so this connection is the only one I have to your station. Plus, as the technology develops for live broadcast of audio over the internet, maybe you could be on the forefront of that, too. I hope you can stay with us longer. Thanks.


Date: Thu, 06 Jul 95 14:36:06 -0700 Subject: internet radio Keep up the good job you are doing!!! great information and a great idea. I really like the site, and will tell my friends


Date: Fri, 07 Jul 95 11:34:12 -0700 Subject: feedback on internet radio This service is wonderful! Although I am not in the position to support you financially, I think your service deserves support of this kind from your government or local university. It is a wonderful service. Yours truly, James Choi. Sydney Australia.


Date: Mon, 03 Jul 95 02:01:40 -700 Subject: Unesco Radio This is excellent solution for radio broadcasting. No high power transmitters, no QRM and better (in the future) audio quality! Also the right way for Unesco-information!


Date: Sun, 16 Jul 95 08:02:28 -0700 Subject: (no subject) Just wonderful will be my comment. I really enjoyed listening to the reports from UN Radio about the situation in former Yugoslavia. I really don’t what to say to improve your site. Just keep up the good jog. Will be visit your site regularly. Please send me your latest schedule so I can try to listen to you on shortwave though it might be very difficult. Thanks and all the best P. Heng from Penang, Malaysia


Date: Sun, 16 Jul 95 21:02:54 -700 Subject: Internet Radio NEXUS Yours is an extremely interesting site to visit for good coverage of major international events, stories etc. Well done and keep it up. Steve Erasmus Johannesburg South Africa


Date: Mon, 24 Jul 95 14:32:47 -0700 Subject: (no subject) You site really reminds me of shortwave radio. I enjoyed the relay of United Nations Radio. Please lift the suspension of the “The World in Review.” Keep up the good work. Ed van der Meer


Date: Fri, 28 Jul 1995 10:01:25 -0400 Hi I am Luis Osorio from Chicago.I think that having radio news from you is great. This is my first experience with you and I just want to let you now that I was here. After having more contact with you, I will be writting my comments. Keep the good work. Question: Why have you stopped to updated the news on July 7?


Date: Fri, 28 Jul 95 22:16:55 -0700 Subject: UNESCO Radio via IRRS Shortwave It is really great to see that your organisation is using the net as a communication media. In future times I believe that you will play a crucial role in harnessing the power of universal education & knowledge thru this medium. Keep at it, Real audio is a great way to complete the package, Brian


Date: Mon, 31 Jul 95 21:33:51 0000 Subject: Great! This is really great, now the technique works it is time to get it organised so you can bring up to date news, music or whatever at every moment a day, that would be really outrageous! Chapeau as well to the people who made realaudio possible!


Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 23:07:25 +0200 Subject: realaudio sound quality I enjoyed listening to some of the sound clips featuring ‘Realaudio’. Yours is the best and clearest sounding implementation of this science I’ve heard to date. Interesting and informative subject matter too!


Date: Tue, 01 Aug 95 22:03:39 -0700 Subject: Your RealAudio clips Hello, I am really enjoying your RealAudio clips. I was wondering if you had anymore Italian, or Spanish excerpts or are planning to add a few more. Congratulations on a great job, and keep up the good work. Rafael

IRRS-Globe Radio Milan: 1979-1998

English Broadcasts on FM in Milano, Italy (1979-1989)

FM radio in Milan

Like most of the other radio listeners in Europe, the Italians listen almost exclusively to hi-fi (stereo) programs aired on the FM band, rather than Medium Wave (AM) or Shortwave. There are distinct advantages to receiving FM vs Mediumwave or Shortwave regarding audio fidelity. Mediumwave broadcasts at the time were manly available throughRAI’s, the national state-controlled radio network.

However, Mediumwave (also called AM radio in the USA) had a sort of revival in the late ’70s and ’80s due to a heavy mutual interference of the thousands of FM signals on the Italian peninsula. Together with Radio Data System (RDS) on FM, Mediumwave/AM was the only option to remain tuned to the same station when distances above 10-15 miles are travelled by car. Mediumwave, although lacking in fidelity, provides much wider coverage than FM due to the lack of co-channel interference, and it was often used for example to tune into the news service offered by RAI.

It must be noted that Italy has been pioneering private FM broadcasting since as early as 1975, when, in addition to the already established three national state-owned RAI channels (also on AM/Medium Wave) some small and aggressive FM stations went on air. Today thousands of FM stations and a few private national networks operate legally in the country. But back in the ’70s and ’80s reception conditions were quite critical, especially in large towns, because there were many, too many stations, often on top of each other.

At the time, driving around the greater Milano nearly one-hundred different stations could be found on the dial. Very often stations operated on the same channel from locations just a few miles apart; more often the separation was just 50 kHz (or less). This situation has been sometimes depicted as a “frequency jungle” by several foreign observers who compared this very competitive market to the cleaner situation in other countries. Clearly, for most stations coverage was a problem especially in large urban areas. But the case would have been solved later in the 1990s with a frequency allocation plan, stricter rules, and the elimination of a large number of stations that followed. After years since a law first attempted to regulate private broadcasting (1990), no frequency allocation plan has been approved yet.

The Legal Situation

Although legally established, all private FM and TV stations in Italy still lacked frequency and power coordination from the Italian Post and telecommunication (PTT) Ministry. The first Broadcasting Act which was approved in August 1990, after many aborted attempts to rule the Italian frequency spectrum, set a term of two years (expiring in August 1992) for the PTT Ministry to publish frequency allocation plans for both TV and radio stations in the country. The Ministry finally assigned formal licenses to only some of the existing operations. Several years later, however, we were still in the same situation as of 1990, as far as frequency occupancy and interference, especially in larger towns. The only form of “coordination” and elimination of interferences was put in place by larger networks who started buying off frequencies from the smaller broadcasters. In this way, they attempted to clear their frequencies and killing de-facto smaller stations which were the spirit of the so-called free radio scene that broke the Italian State monopoly in the ’70s. Today, only a few of the smaller stations survive, especially in rural areas, and recent proposals to rule once again the market by the Italian Government seem to favour the largest broadcasters vs the smallest, but often more important, local stations. When the switch to DAB is completed in a few years, it is foreseeable that any still existing smaller station in rural areas would completely disappear.

As for radio, the 1990 Broadcasting Act identified two types of license: commercial and non-commercial or community radio (very similar to the US concept of public radio). Both licenses were granted on a local or national coverage basis.  All applications for a license had to be filled by October 20, 1990. After that date, the law stated that no new station could be built, nor other application accepted and, more importantly, no technical parameter of every station (e.g. antenna, frequency, transmitter power, etc.) could  (officially) be changed. Only in April 1998, a provision was added by decree to slightly modify the technical characteristics of a transmitter, if, for example, another transmitter belonging to the same station was shut down in the same area.

In the 1990s, in the Milano city area alone, commercial radio stations were outnumbering non-commercial/community operations by more than a factor one to thirty. NEXUS-IBA got a formal license to operate IRRS-Globe Radio Milano on FM 88.85 MHz as a local community broadcaster in 1995, and an authorisation to operate an international Shortwave station from Milano, Italy, was also granted.

Our History

Milano is a very cosmopolitan city in Northern Italy. Its weekly specialised exhibitions at the local Fair attract many foreign visitors every year. Here live quite a large number of English speaking foreign residents (20,000+) as well as many Italians who speak this language fluently. All that together with the interest of several international broadcasting organisations, consular representatives in Milan, newspapers, listeners and friends helped us to create and maintain IRRS-Globe Radio Milan since 1979. IRRS-Globe Radio Milan was a unique adventure in broadcasting and the first English speaking station in Italy.

Back in 1979, the fact that most of the Italian radio listeners in large towns did not listen at all to international Shortwave, or Long Wave broadcasts, gave us the idea of starting a local English speaking FM station in Milano. No satellite radio or TV was yet available, and newspaper and magazines were almost all international media available in town at the time. Our FM English-speaking station started with very simple equipment, a lot of enthusiasm, and with just only a few Watts all the Milano city area was covered.

In 1979-1989 IRRS-Globe Radio Milan existed to provide NEXUS-IBA members and broadcasters a facility in what the National Geographic magazine defined as “Both a factory and a showcase for Italian products, a hub for the comings and goings of trade in Italy and much of western Europe, but also a city of fine food and subtle elegance and cultural wealth“. In the early beginnings when IRRS-Globe Radio Milan experienced little or no interference from other stations, there were listeners who tuned into our broadcasts from as far as 30-50 km away. At the beninng of the 1990’s, even with professional equipment and higher power, the heavy competition from commercial stations had undoubtedly reduced the station’s coverage to just about one third of the entire city area. This was a situation very common to other small stations in Milano, which did not improve when licenses were assigned in 1990.

Since its beginning, IRRS-Globe Radio Milan has been airing the best selection of English programming available on Shortwave. Over the years, programs from the BBC World Service, BBC English by Radio, Deutsche Welle, Radio Nederland, Radio Sweden, Swiss Radio International, HCJB, VOA, Radio Beijing, Family Radio, Radio Earth, UNESCO and United Nations Radio, as well as many other individuals and broadcasting organizations has been aired. They targeted our English-speaking listeners in Milano, often preceding what was later now being offered as VOA Europe or BBC World Service via satellite in many other European towns.

NEXUS-IBA is neither governmentally, nor privately funded. Although provisions exist in the NEXUS’ charter to accept financial donations from other bodies and institutions, all current operations are entirely financed by our members’ broadcasters. Moreover, no advertising is currently on air on any NEXUS-IBA station. All NEXUS-IBA personnel are professionals who have a full-time job elsewhere, and devote most of their spare time coordinating NEXUS-IBA activities as volunteers. The heavy use of state-of-the-art computer automation, digital broadcasting, and, only recently, the availability of satellite feeds, together with our hard work, has made it all possible until now.

1979-1998: Twenty years of FM broadcasting from Milano to the world

IRRS-Globe Radio Milan was shut down on Sept. 15, 1998. The decision came after NEXUS-IBA’s Executive Committee decided to focus the Association’s activities on the Internet, International broadcasting, Shortwave and education.

Needless to say that our efforts could not be accomplished, nor continue, without your interest and support.

To support our activities, please visit our support page.

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