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MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Mar. 25) - The French Government has donated computer equipment worth a-quarter-of-a-million dollars to the national radio service of Fiji to enable it to convert from analogue to digital audio.

The gift is part of an agreement under which the French international radio service, RFI, will also be broadcast locally on an FM signal in Suva:

The French Ambassador to Fiji, Jean-Pierre Vidon, handed over the digital audio hardware and software at a special function in the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation's main sound studio yesterday.

He said the equipment would help improve Fiji Broadcasting's radio services throughout the country. But he seemed even more pleased with the second aspect of the agreement – a French language broadcast around the clock to Suva.

Vidon quoted from the Chief Executive Officer of RFI when talking about competing with English language broadcasters: "It is not a question of fighting these organisations or attacking the increasingly widespread use of English but to create space in which there is room for other points of view," he said. The BBC and Radio Australia are also broadcast on the FM band here."

March 25, 2003

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