Today at 11.11 am, the analogue FM broadcasting system in the northern county of Nordland was shut down, while popular public broadcaster NRK as well as other commercial broadcasters made the switch to the DAB standard.
NRK broadcasting chief Thor Gjermnund Eriksen said “It was a historic moment,” acknowledging the fact that Norway was the first country in the world to make such a transition on a nationwide basis.
The transition will see both state and commercial broadcasters leave FM radio for DAB. Advantages of DAB includes its robustness, more channels, better audio quality and low power consumption.
Norway’s topography with many small communities spread across mountains and valleys, difficult to reach with FM radio, has also been cited for the switch.
Eriksen said, “for the first time everyone in Norway will have an equal offering from NRK,” regardless if they live in the capital Oslo or the municipality of Rost that is part of the Lofoten archipelago off northern Norway.
Irrespective of the advantages being proposed by DAB, a poll carried out in December discovered that a majority of Norwegians were still opposed to a total shutdown of analog FM radio.
In a survey carried out by daily VG, in which over 1,000 people were interviewed, it showed that 55.5 per cent of Norwegians were against the switch to DAB, while 25.1 per cent were in favour and 19.1 per cent undecided.
From now on, listeners who want to listen to the radio will need a Digital Audio Broadcast enabled radio set, smartphone or computer, while many motorists will need to convert their analogue car radios.
Parliament approved the transition in 2011, and the government said the transition was to be completed by December 13 in the country of about 4.2 million.
The government estimated the transition would provide savings of 180 million kroner (21 million dollars) in the period 2017-2019.