The death of FM radio has arrived

This Wednesday, Norway will become the first nation in the world to pull the switch on its FM radio broadcasts – a move that will render the country’s approximately 15 million FM radios obsolete.

The government will roll all broadcasts over to Digital Audio Broadcasting, or DAB, which costs about 1/8 as much as broadcasting analogue radio.

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According to a December poll published in the Dagbladet daily newspaper, two-thirds of Norwegians think the government is moving too quickly.

By the end of the year, national networks will only be available on DAB, while local stations have five years to make the switch.

And despite 70% of Norway’s listeners already using DAB to tune into their favourite stations, critics say too many people will be forced to make expensive upgrades to their equipment.

A new car radio, for example, costs in the region of NOK4,000 ($468; £382).

“Norway is not prepared for this. There are millions of radios in homes, cottages and boats that won’t work anymore and only around 25% of cars in Norway have digital radios or adapters,” said Svein Larsen, of the Norwegian Local Radio Association.

More on the BBC.

Photo credit: E. W. Murtfeldt.

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