now the process of legalizing low power FM transmitting devices destined for the Mp3 player market is in full speed. After Germany, Switzerland and Iceland, which authorized its marketing and use a few months ago, it is now the UK's turn. In fact, from December 8th, even Her Maest's subjects will be able to use the many products available on the international market which up to now cannot be used freely for restrictive regulations on the subject.
But if in several countries, such as those mentioned, the sale of devices such as the Griffin Technology iTrip or Belkin's TuneCast are now free, in other countries things are not quite like that. In Italy, for example, as confirmed by ADL, one of the main importers and distributors of iPod accessories, the law remains against the use. Contrary to use, but not to sales thanks to the approval process that was ratified a few months ago by the European commission.
What this means in practical terms is explained by Belkin Italy country manager, Benvolio Panzarella.
"In fact," he tells us in a telephone interview "the norm in Europe in this matter was regulated by a law dating back to 1946 which placed serious limitations on the use of the FM band, this to protect the communications of the military and the police. Now thanks to the interest of our company that has exercised a lobbying action also using legal advice, the European Union has agreed to approve this type of low-power devices, while requiring that they necessarily have some characteristics (such as auto-off after a fixed period of inactivity). So now FM emitters are perfectly legal for sale and purchase in all countries, including Italy. Unfortunately the use at the discretion of the country where they are used and for Italy there is still a rule that prevents its use "
In short, the same situation that was experienced some years ago, at the time of the first cordless phones. Even in that case the phones could be sold and bought but not used. "That's exactly what Panzarella still tells us" and the problem not only ours, here in Italy, but in all European countries, except for Germany, which was very rapid and immediately approved a new standard that conforms to the spirit of European law. '
In any case, waiting for the law to be approved also in our country, the first low-power FM emitters will begin to arrive in Italy in a few days, as Belkin's Country Manager confirms. "We could have worn them since the summer," he says, "but given the very high demand, we preferred to accumulate stocks to meet demand. We are now supplying large retailers who will include our products in Christmas flyers. On each package there will be clearly written that to use them one must first verify the norm of the country where one is using them as for now the European laws are different "
But when will the last barrier fall, the one that allows its use in all EU countries? "We are in contact with the telecommunications ministry," Panzarella tells us, "we hope it will be done soon. However, I think I can reasonably say that this is only a matter of time. "