The Jakarta Post
The FM network shutdown will begin in Norway's northern city of Bodoe on Jan. 11. (Shutterstock/File)
Norway will soon become the first country in the world to shut down its FM (Frequency Modulation) Radio network next week, followed by a "risky and unpopular" shift to DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting).
Despite polls published by the daily Dagbladet last month, which showed that 66 percent of Norwegians oppose switching off FM, the parliament advanced with the shutdown, convinced by “the fact that digital networks can carry more radio channels,” as reported by Reuters.
The FM network shutdown will begin in the northern city of Bodoe on Jan. 11. The end of 2017 will see national FM broadcasts closing in favor of DAB, which supporters say transmits “less hiss and clearer sound” throughout Norway.
However, the largest challenge the nation faces are cars, as mentioned by Head of Digital Radio Norway Ole Joergen Torvmark, “[...] a good digital adapter for an FM car radio costs 1,500 Norwegian crowns [US$174.70].” In addition to that, there are still 2 million cars on Norway's roads unequipped with Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) receivers.
Torvmark remarks, "we're the first country to switch off FM, but there are several countries going in the same direction.” A similar shift is planned by Switzerland for 2020, and Denmark is also considering shutting down FM radio. Britain also plans to consider an FM shutdown, which could possibly happen once digital listening reaches 50 percent, as explained by Digital Radio UK spokeswoman Yvette Dore. (mra/kes)