A billion people lack access to radio – ITU


The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) says up to a billion people across the world still do not have access to radio.

The union said in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos on Friday that there was the need to ensure accessibility, as radio helps to shape life.

It said that on Feb. 13, ITU would join the global celebrations for World Radio Day, the day set aside to celebrate the unique power of radio.

According to the union, the day is set aside to celebrate why people love radio and why it is needed today, more than ever before.

The ITU said radio is still the most dynamic, reactive and engaging medium adapting to 21st century changes and offering new ways to interact and participate.

“To make this possible, ITU continues working to enable innovation in radiocommunications, as well as ensuring that transmission standards and spectrum are available for digital radio in Medium Frequency (MF), High Frequency (HF) and Very High Frequency (VHF) broadcasting bands.

”ITU is also ensuring that there are approved international regulatory frameworks in place to allow for a smooth migration from analogue to digital radio.

”​​​Feb. 13, 2017 is World Radio Day – a day to celebrate radio as a medium; to improve international cooperation between broadcasters.

”It is a day to encourage major networks and community radio alike to promote access to information, freedom of expression and gender equality over the airwaves.

”Radio is the mass media reaching the widest audience in the world. It is also recognised as a powerful communication tool and a low cost medium,” it said.

The union said that its Radiocommunication Bureau would join UNESCO to celebrate radio and how it helped to shape lives.

It said radio was specifically suited to reach remote communities and vulnerable people: the illiterate, the disabled, women, youth and the poor, while offering a platform to intervene in the public debate, irrespective of people’s educational level.

The union said that radio also has a strong and specific role in emergency communication and disaster relief.

According to ITU, there is also a changing face to radio services which, in the present times of media convergence, are taking up new technological forms, such as broadband, mobile and tablets.

”However, it is said that up to a billion people still do not have access to radio today,” the union said.

On Jan. 14, 2013, the United Nations General Assembly formally endorsed UNESCO’s proclamation of World Radio Day.

During its 67th Session, the UN General Assembly endorsed the resolution adopted during the 36th session of the UNESCO General Conference, proclaiming Feb. 13, the day United Nations Radio was established in 1946, as World Radio Day.