Supplementary memorandum submitted by
the Radio Authority
INTERNET STREAMING OF RADIO SERVICES
At the Committee session today, we were asked
how much it costs to stream an existing commercial radio service
over the Internet. We have now been able to take a preliminary
look into the question, and the purpose of this letter is to ask
you to let the Chairman and the Committee know what we have found
Unfortunately, the question does not permit
of one simple answer. We are clear that the cost of hardware is
minimal. We estimate that £2,000 will provide an adequate
PC, and much less than £1,000 will pay for media streaming
However, the main variable is the amount of
bandwidth employed. For as little as £500 a year, a station
could use an ADSL line. This would allow for up to 20 simultaneous
users, but it gives no pre-emption and so in busy periods the
station might be down to one or two users only being able to access
A more commercial basis would be to buy guaranteed
bandwidth, either with a line direct to the server or through
a specialist streaming company. We understand that this is normally
done on the basis of a guaranteed number of simultaneous users.
One major radio group uses such a streaming company, and pays
in the order of £150,000 a year for 5,000 simultaneous users.
Another, which leases its bandwidth directly for the same capacity,
pays around £350,000 per year.
Our initial impression was that the figure of
5,000 simultaneous users, which seems to be that which was worked
to by most commercial companies, was on the low side. However,
our investigations suggest providing bandwidth to accomodate say
250,000 simultaneous users would take you into the realms of becoming
a telecommunications company. The cost would be literally millions
I hope this information is helpful to the Committee.
Should they require further information we would be happy to research
the topic more thoroughly.