The world is changing

I woke this morning to find a situation almost unknown in (my) living memory. I turned on the radio, as is my wont, to listen to BBC Radio 4, and it wasn’t there! Nor were any of the other national BBC stations. All our local transmitters are offline, which must have left hundreds of thousands of people, at least, offline. The Beeb don’t seem to be doing a good job telling people about it – it’s not obvious anywhere on the web site, for example.

Fortunately, the BBC website is in all other respects excellent – they have all of their content on line, including the live broadcast streams. And ‘wireless’ is a term we now use more about in-house networking than national networking. So I can simply take my laptop anywhere in the house instead of the radio. (And while listening, I could IM my friend Dave, who lives an hour’s drive away, to find out that his radio was dead too).

This is, to a large extent, the future of radio, though the device won’t always look like a laptop.

Update, 20 mins later: I spoke too soon. The BBC website is now down as well, no doubt swamped by the number of people trying to find out what’s happened! Perhaps there’s something to be said for broadcast technologies after all!

Another update: Actually, I think it was the DNS rather than the website which had a problem – I managed to get the site back almost immediately by finding an IP address for www.bbc.co.uk and putting it in my /etc/hosts, though this wasn’t needed for long. The main thing is that the online BBC came back before the broadcast version.

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser