Norway is the first country that will start switching off its FM (frequency modulation) radio network and will switch to digital-only radio although the attempt is opposed by majority of its citizens.
According to Reuters, Norway is set to become the first nation to start switching off its FM radio network on 11 January, which is believed to be a risky and “unpopular” leap to digital technology that will be closely watched by other countries considering whether to follow Norway’s actions. Sixty-six percent of Norwegians oppose switching off FM, with just 17 percent in favour and the rest undecided, according to an opinion poll published by the daily Dagbladet last month, Reuters states.
Many critics complain the country is not ready for the switch and that the government is rushing the move. The biggest concern are the 2 million cars on Norway’s roads that are not equipped with digital audio broadcasting (DAB) receivers, which cost nearly €160 or 1,500 Norwegian kroner. As the Guardian writes, for the same cost, digital radio allows for eight times as many stations as FM, and is said to have clearer sound and less hiss.
According to Reuters, Switzerland plans a similar shift from 2020, and Britain and Denmark are among those also considering such a switch.