Norway Ditches FM Radio In Historic First

Posted: Jan 6 2017, 9:16am CST | by , in Technology News


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Norway Ditches FM Radio in Historic First
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Norway will become the first country to switch off its FM radio network next week. In a move that is considered a bit risky and remains deeply unpopular, it is a symbol for the end of old technology and a step forward for digital technology. Other countries will no doubt be looking closely at what happens.

Critics say that they should keep the system because it enables people to hear emergency warnings in cases where phones may fail. Even worse, there are some 2 million cars on the road in Norway that are not equipped with Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) receivers, according to Reuters.

In an opinion poll, 66% said that they opposed the elimination of FM, 17% were in favor, and the rest were undecided.

Still, parliament decided to go ahead with the movement, no doubt because digital networks are able to carry more radio channels.

Switzerland is expected to follow in 2020, with Britain and Denmark considering a switch as well. If the movement is smooth, other countries could follow quickly.

The FM network, which was introduced in the 1950s, will begin is shut down on January 11 in Bodoe.

By the end of the year, all national FM broadcasts will switch in favor of DAB, which provides a clearer sound and is more predictable.

"We're the first country to switch off FM but there are several countries going in the same direction," said Ole Joergen Torvmark, head of Digital Radio Norway, which is owned by national broadcasters NRK and P4 to help the transition.

The problem is that a good digital adaptor for an FM car radio is expensive, some 1,500 Norwegian crowns (about $175), he commented.

Some members were afraid of what will happen to the elderly and those who expressed concerns about the technology.

"We are simply not ready for this yet," Ib Thomsen, an MP from the Progress Party, a partner in the Conservative-led government, told Reuters. "There are 2 million cars on Norwegian roads that don't have DAB receivers, and millions of radios in Norwegian homes will stop working when the FM net is switched off. So there is definitely a safety concern," he said.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/46" rel="author">Noel Diem</a>
Noel passion is to write about geek culture.




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