Norway Embarking on Shutdown of FM on National Broadcasts

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Norway will start next week on becoming the first country to phase out the analogue frequency modulation technology, or FM, for national and some regional broadcasting.

Starting Wednesday, FM radio stations across Norway will gradually switch to digital audio broadcasting standard, known as DAB. The shutdown process that starts in northern Norway is due to be complete by Dec. 13.

The Norwegian government has cited its landscape with deep fjords, high mountains and scattered communities for making it expensive to operate FM networks.

Norway’s Parliament took the decision in May 2011. The switch-off applies only to national radio stations and certain regional ones, most local radio stations can keep transmitting on their FM networks.

An estimated 200 million kroner ($ 23.4 million) will be saved, according to official figures.

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