The Government in Norway will switch off its FM radio stations for good in January 2017, claiming that it will save €24m a year (NOK 200m) that can be re-invested into programme making.
The decision to switch off all FM radio stations in 2017 follows up the radio digitisation mandate issued by the Storting (the Norwegian parliament) in 2011. Norway will as such become the first country in the world to officially phase out FM broadcasting in favour of online and DAB.
“Radio digitisation will open the door to a far greater range of radio channels, benefitting listeners across the country,” said Norway’s Minister of Culture Thorhild Widvey. “Listeners will have access to more diverse and pluralistic radio-content, and enjoy better sound quality and new functionality.
“Radio digitisation will open the door to a far greater range of radio channels, benefitting listeners across Norway.”
“Digitisation will also greatly improve the emergency preparedness system, facilitate increased competition and offer new opportunities for innovation and development.”
“Whereas the FM system only had space for five national channels, DAB already offers 22, and there is capacity for almost 20 more.
“In addition, more than half the population already has access to local radio on DAB, and there is considerable potential for further local channels,” she added.
The authorities has facilitated for an industry-driven process, primarily through a collaboration between local networks P4, Radio Norge (pictured) and NRK.
The 2011 parliamentary white paper on digital radio – which enjoyed a broad support cross-party support – laid down a set of criteria to be met by 1 January 2015 in order for a 2017 digitalization date to be viable.
A statement from the Government added: “DAB is far less vulnerable to transmitter failure in extreme conditions. Second, DAB permits tunnel reception of all channels. Finally, DAB technology allows simultaneous transmission of emergency messages on all channels.”
Music Business Worldwide