By 2017, Norway wants to be the first country to ditch FM radio entirely

This week, Norway’s Ministry of Culture announced its plans to transition completely towards digital radio and turn off FM radio nationwide, according to an English report from (the original announcement in Norwegian can be found here). The switch-off is scheduled to begin in January 2017, and it would make Norway the first country in the world to “decide upon an analogue switch-off for all major radio channels,” according to the announcement.

“This is an important day for everyone who loves radio,” said Thor Gjermund Eriksen, head of Norway’s national broadcaster NRK, in a release. “The minister`s decision allows us to concentrate our resources even more upon what is most important, namely to create high quality and diverse radio-content to our listeners.”

Several countries in Europe and Southeast Asia are in the process of similar transitions, but Norway is the first to set an end date (the country started this endeavor back in 1995). In these processes, the Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) standard is typically what’s being tapped to replace FM radio. DAB is a “free, over-the-air digital service that requires only a special receiver attachment on the listener’s end,” according to NBC News.

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