I appreciate Mr Alfred Bhulai’s response in the Thursday March 22 of the Stabroek News concerning the signals or lack thereof of 98.1 FM in Berbice (‘Out of range of FM signal’). Mr Bhulai outlined a whole host of technical reasons why it would be virtually impossible to get the FM signal here. Just imagine, it has been more than a decade since 98.1 FM was launched in Georgetown and no expansion to outer areas has become a reality.
Some car radios do pick up 98.1 FM in Berbice, but the quality is very poor. Perhaps they pick up the signals because the cars are travelling outdoors and in open spaces, but try turning on a radio in a house or anywhere where people are situated and there is no signal, except static and perhaps, just perhaps, a distant voice or sound of music on the 98.1 FM band. It’s hopeless, really, just the picture Mr Bhulai painted.
NCN has a relay station in New Amsterdam and may have very well invested in relaying the FM signals using their transmission antenna and other equipment at the Berbice operations. It could even be used to improve the current AM signal as well. It seems that nobody is thinking of improving anything as far as I am concerned.
In over 13 years of 98.1 FM’s existence, the FM signal has never been boosted or relayed to other parts of the country; the shortwave signals are virtually dead; the AM signal is still as poor as ever, especially at night; and the online broadcasts of 98.1 FM and VOG are down 90 per cent of the time during any given month.
Georgetown seems to be the only beneficiary of NCN radio in all its forms. Sad indeed, even in this day and age. What is sadder is that NCN will not come out and talk about this issue, ever.
Mr Bhulai is right when he, in not so many words, stated that Berbicians have no chance in hell of picking up the FM signals. That was the true essence of his letter, and he is right.