Skip to content

BBC World Service on your phone

It was a sad day when, on July 1, 2001, the BBC World Service ended its shortwave broadcasts to North America. You can still get it if you want to pay for satellite radio (no way), and some public radio stations carry bits of the BBC’s news.

To help fill the gap, the BBC makes the audio available with a phone call to 712-432-6580, which I believe is in Iowa. Back when both my phones had limited minutes, that didn’t help me much. But when I got the iPhone 5, I also switched to a Verizon plan with unlimited minutes. Unlimited minutes are mostly wasted on me, but the BBC helps burn some of them off and get more value out of the nasty sum I pay to Verizon each month.

The BBC World Service broadcasts in English 24 hours a day. Normally I don’t listen to radio news, including NPR, because broadcast news is mostly useless and moves much too slowly for me, nor do I spend much time in a car. I can absorb information many times faster by reading. But there is something special about the BBC. It has been in operation since 1932, and it is one of the best news operations in the world. London calling…

At certain times of day, when radio propagation conditions are right, you might still be able to pick up the BBC’s shortwave broadcasts aimed at Western Africa, if you’re in the eastern U.S. But it would be hit or miss. You do have a shortwave receiver and a decent antenna, don’t you?

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *