WVFI, the longtime campus radio station with the small and diminishing audience, has been transformed into a worldwide Internet webcaster at http://wvfi.nd.edu.
The station abandoned its place at 640 on the AM dial in 1999 in hopes of attaining a more powerful FM frequency like that belonging to WSND, the mostly classical music station that broadcasts from campus. Lack of upkeep and an outdated carrier current had caused WVFI’s transmitter to deteriorate to the point that only a handful of residence halls could receive its signal. Increasing computer use on campus also interfered with the signal.
Because it could take years for WVFI, whose call letters stand for Voice of the Fighting Irish, to obtain an FM license, station managers turned their attention to the Internet. The University agreed, and in fall 1999 WVFI moved to the web.
As before, administrators intended that station’s programming would be accessible only by members of the campus community, now by logging into the campus computer network. However, because of an inadvertent programming error, for a while anyone could connect to the site. Finally in October of last year, worldwide access to the WVFI site was made permanent. Now, in addition to college radio music and campus news, Irish fans anywhere can hear student announcers do play-by-play of ND football games. The station also plans to webcast Notre Dame hockey, baseball, basketball, even the intramural football playoffs.
As with other webcasts, listening to WVFI requires having RealPlayer or equivalent software installed on your computer.