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Norway becomes first in the world to shut down FM radio

/ 07:42 PM January 11, 2017
Analog Radio to be shut down

Norway’s decision to turn off FM nationally has not gone unchallenged and it remains to be seen how everything will pan out in a year’s time. Image: stock photo

Norway has arrived at a very big decision: to turn off FM radio signals nationally. This makes them the first country in the world to do away with analog radio and they plan to complete the transition within the year.

Norway will then be prioritizing the offering of Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) in favor of FM radio. Mountainous terrain and a scattered population, as well as the cost of operation, allegedly led to the decision, reports The Verge.

Compared to the 20-something national DAB channels currently available to listeners, the five remaining FM channels proved too costly  to maintain. On the other hand, local radio stations are still permitted to continue broadcasting at their discretion.


However, not all Norwegians are in favor of letting go of FM radio. To be precise, only 17 percent are in favor while 66 percent are opposing the move for various reasons. One key reason is the technological unpreparedness of the citizenry. Only one-third of cars in Norway have DAB receivers and it would cost 1000 to 2000 kroner to buy an adaptor (roughly P5,700 to 11,500).

“Norway is a particularly bad country to test in as we have such high taxes on cars and therefore have so many old cars,” Sverre Holm, a professor in signal processing at the University of Oslo told The Financial Times. “It is against people’s DNA to pay for radio. So they have resisted it.”

It will be a while before analog technologies are completely made obsolete and there will be a lot of resistance along the way if not done properly. Alfred Bayle

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TAGS: analog radio, DAB, digital audio broadcasting, firsts, FM Radio, Norway
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