Deutsche Welle (DW) is closing its last relay station, which is in Kigali, Rwanda. In recent years DW like many shortwave broadcasters, has been facing financial cutbacks. Also there are far fewer broadcasters using shortwaves these days.
As a youngster in the 1960s, I recall shortwaves crowded with AM broadcast stations, many from all over the world transmitting in English, with their distinctive interval signals. There was a magic about shortwave broadcasting back then. Quite a few could be copied with very simple receivers too. There is something quite nostalgic about listening again to those long-gone interval signals from behind the Iron Curtain. I remember getting some excellent freebees from China back in the early 1980s. Of course, it was all to spread the propaganda. All I really wanted was their QSL card!
These days, users are often reached using the internet. Of course, it begs the question, “who is now filling the empty, vacated channels?” In the long run amateur radio might gain some allocations, although the noise floor on HF is increasing too. SMPUs, cable TV and numerous other sources are mainly to blame.