2017 will see the end of FM Radio in Norway, as the European country has set a date for the switch-off of their FM radio stations. The Norwegian parliament set the stage for the end of the broadcast spectrum’s use in 2011 with the digitization mandate issued by the Storting. The shut down of the FM bands will be implemented region by region.
The Ministry of Culture in Norway made the decision public on Thursday, bringing the end of FM radio broadcasting in the country.
“Radio digitisation will open the door to a far greater range of radio channels, benefiting listeners across the country. Listeners will have access to more diverse and pluralistic radio-content, and enjoy better sound quality and new functionality. Digitisation will also greatly improve the emergency preparedness system, facilitate increased competition and offer new opportunities for innovation and development,” says Minister of Culture Thorhild Widvey.
Europe is known for its pluralistic views, especially in countries like France where the Roman Catholic Church ran into the Enlightenment at the end of the 18th century. The Church of Norway was the official state church until 2012 when the constitution of the country was amended. The percentage of Norwegians who attend church on a weekly basis is below 2 percent, according Statistics Norway.
The end of FM radio in the country is an important transition for both the government-run state radio NRK as well as the various commercial stations throughout Norway. NRK is the largest media organization in Norway and currently offers five national channels via the FM band. Fifty-six percent of Norway’s population currently use Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) to listen to their programs of choice, forgoing the early century old method of transmitting. While DAB radio can be listened to online via a computer or smartphone such as Last.fm here in the States, which the Inquisitr has covered previously, dedicated DAB receivers are also available that receive the DAB ensemble signals over the dedicated frequencies.
According to Norway’s Ministry of Culture, the cost of broadcasting on FM is eight times higher than with the DAB network. The projected savings of going to DAB exclusively is 200 million Norwegian Kroner ($256,000 USD), which will be invested in radio content. In addition to the financial savings of ending the FM radio broadcasts, DAB network broadcasting allows for more stations to be broadcast in the frequency space available. Other benefits pointed out by the Ministry of Culture include less vulnerability to transmitters in cases of emergency as well as broadcasting emergency messages on all channels simultaneously.
The end of FM radio in Norway begins on January 11, 2017 in Nordland county and ends with the northernmost counties Troms and Finnmark on December 12, 2017.
[Image Source | VTT Studio]