The end of BBC long-wave

Radio 4's long-wave transmission will soon be history.

Since the 1930s, the BBC's Radio 4 has reached homes through its 198 kilohertz long-wave service, but this era will soon be over.

As Dennis Nowlan, the network manager for the station explained, 97 per cent of the population now tune-in to the station through digital radio and further access is ensure online and via analogue FM radio.

The reason why the service will no longer be available is however of a technical nature. The valves used to transmit the signal are no longer manufactured and the BBC had already bought up the last remaining parts to secure its long-wave service. When the one of the last two valves, currently service blows, the service will therefore no longer be transmittable.

The BBC's director-general, Mark Thompson however said that digital radio and analogue FM will be able to accommodate parts of the long-wave programme. In recent years, long-wave had broadcast more traditional radio programmes such as the Test Match Special and a full version of Yesterday in Parliament.

The long-wave signal, which began its transmission in 1926, is presently used by 90,000 homes across the UK and reaches Ireland as well as parts of mainland Europe.