Thursday, January 12, 2017

Norway is Shutting Down its FM Radio Network - The First Country to do So

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At the beginning of next week, Norway will begin to shut down the FM (Frequency Modulation) radio network.  The country will transition to an all digital satellite network over the same time that FM is being shelved.

There were a couple of reasons for this.

  1. Geography:  Norway is a country of mountains and fiords.  Getting standard radio waves into incredibly high and incredibly low places can be done, but it is expensive.  Digital broadcasting or DAB as it is called, will be much more cost efficient.
  2. Cost:  Government estimates show a savings of over $23.5 million per year which radio companies can use to create new and better programs to broadcast.  Also the FM network is aging and would require a significant capital investment to keep it going .

However it’s not all flowers and candy.  Norway is a country of 5 million people and about 2 million cars there don’t have a way to receive digital signals.  However adapters can be purchased and as older vehicles are retired they will be replaced with new ones that can receive digital signals.

Personally I find this interesting news.  Change is one of the things we are guaranteed.  I’ve had satellite radio for a few years now and would never go back.  However, could FM be shut down in the US?  Norway’s effort will be followed with interest, I’m sure.

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