Norway on verge of becoming world's first country to turn off all FM radio

    Norway on verge of becoming world's first country to turn off all FM radio

    Jan.11, Oslo: Norway is about to become the first country in the world to turn off FM radio.

    From 11.11.11am local time on 11 January, Frequency Modulation broadcasting in the remote arctic circle town of Bodø will be turned off for good. 

    The small town is to be the first to make the country’s permanent switch to digital radio, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

    John Humphrys reveals his time at Radio 4 is coming to an end. But the move, which the government says is necessary modernisation, has not been without controversy.

    Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) is already popular in Norway, with 70 per cent of households regularly tuning in to one of the 26 available nationwide channels – which include versions of the five main FM channels which will soon be off air.

    The government claims the move will free up cash for broadcasters to invest in programming, while providing a clearer and more reliable network that can better cut through the country's sparsely populated and rocky terrain.

    Up to 20 million analogue receivers will be rendered obsolete, particularly in the estimated 2.3 million cars without DAB radios.

    Motorists who want to continue to tune in can buy a new radio for 4,000 kroner (£385) or an adapter for around 1,500 kroner (£144). However, some have said they will just listen on their smartphones.

    The cost will also be a pressing issue for the elderly, some of whom rely on the radio as a link to the outside world. A domestic DAB set costs around 1,000 kroner (£96).

    The Oslo Times International News Network


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