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Norway is starting to shut down FM radio now

Flag of Norway

The national flag of Norway

As reported by this blog from a couple years ago, the Norwegian government has commenced the shutdown of its nationwide FM radio network in favor of a digital signal. The process began on Wednesday in the town of Bodø, in the Nordland province in north-central Norway. The government decided to move to a digital format called DAB+ and says that due to the operating costs of FM, the switch will save money by nearly eightfold in powering their broadcast operations. Advocates for the switch say that DAB+ will have a clearer sound than FM especially in areas where fjords and mountains interfere with FM signals.

Despite this, a recent poll shows that two-thirds of Norwegians are against ditching FM with the concern that they would miss warnings for emergencies that are typically broadcast on FM. Additionally, opponents of the shut down say the hardware needed to listen to DAB+ through a $170 adapter to listen in a car.

FM signals will be available in parts of Norway through 2022 as local and regional stations start the transition process. NRK, Norway’s largest national radio station, is now on DAB+ in the Nordland province.

For more information, check out NPR’s article or TheLocal.no