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Norway Shuts Down FM Radio

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 by | Filed Under: In The News, Quick Tips

Norway is the first country to shut down the FM radio band as part of a transition to digital radio. The country will have FM signals completely shut down by December of 2017.

The country says the move will offer “more diverse and pluralistic” content and “better sound quality and new functionality.”  Norway was the first country to launch a DAB (Digital Audio Band ) channel back in 1995.  Around 50% of Norwegian households have at least one radio with access to the digital audio band.


Like HDTV, the sound quality is better, but you have the same issues with the signal strength degrading, making reception in rural areas more difficult.  DAB signals can carry additional information such as song titles or even scroll traffic updates without interrupting the music.

DAB broadcasts are not available in the US. Canada dabbled in DAB radio for a few years, but broadcasters began shutting those signals down in 2010.

~ Cynthia

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44 Responses to “Norway Shuts Down FM Radio”

  1. harho says:

    I had satellite for a couple of years and was unhappy with the flucuation of the signal, It always seemed like I was behind a hill or trees(it was particularly bad when the leaves were wet. So I’m back to fm

  2. Dennis Komes says:

    Since I have had a home in rural Missouri, I discovered that most things in this digital world is totally geared to those who live in or around the big city. I spent many years in the suburbs of a major midwest city. We never had serious problems as technology developed. However, when I moved to rural Missouri, I learned that rural America is not important to developers and the communications/technology industries. Thanks to satellite TV. At least we can now watch TV with the same clarity and choices that those surrounding the big cities enjoy.

  3. Ron Hills says:

    I still have 4 radios around the house none of them Dabs. I listen on FM, a friend has a Dabs radio but it suffers badly with signal loss so he listens mostly to FM. I just hope the good old BBC do not switch of the FM signal until something is done about the Dabs.
    But I do listen a lot to radio on the net especially to Canada and the USA.

  4. Micro Bob says:

    What going to digital transmission really means is two-way transmission. That means they can monitor precisely what you listen to. Good for the corporations, BAD for the individual. Loss of privacy. How much more are people willing to give up?

  5. Bill B. says:

    Digital radio if it carries over to AM broadcasts will silence all the restored antique radios that us ‘old radio’ fans have restored and enjoy listening to ! Also many radios from the 50’s have FM also. It is a shame…but it is called progress.
    -Bill B.

  6. Don Shaw says:

    I listen almost exclusively to AM radio, both for talk and for music. I can not find, in my area, music I like, other than Siris or on AM. You know, songs that you can sing along with, whistle, or hum, maybe dance to. Miller, Goodman,Dorseys and such.

  7. Margaret Hamm says:

    I still listen to FM.

  8. Tim Miskimon says:

    I use both AM & FM radio – leave it alone.

  9. rctrippe says:

    We use over the air radio only.

  10. John Warren says:

    To me, this is just another link in the corporate chain. Buy more equipment in the anticipation of better service and more choices, only to realize later the limitations of digital transmission. I believe that both AM and FM still have a lot to offer the average citizen at no cost for upgrading or programming. Sadly, the average taxpaying citizen is the last person the governments will ask before they pull the plug. I listen to FM every day at work. We still have a couple of good stations that haven’t been gobbled up by “Clear channel”. Thank God for the mom and pop’s that haven’t sold out to corporate America. If the FCC would allow low output transmission on FM with little or no licensing fee, mom and pop could rule the airwaves again, broadcasting solely for the love of the music. Funny, but I thought that’s what the airwaves were for in the first place.

  11. Beverly says:

    I gave up TV when it went digital. I got what was rated as the best converter but it only worked in one spot-over a radiator and under a window 4″ from a wall in a spot totally uncomfortable to sit in. I’ve been downloading audio books from the library and LISTENING TO MOSTLY FM BUT ALSO SOME AM RADIO. I would be really upset to lose that ability.

  12. Jack says:

    I always listen to an FM station while in my car.

  13. Kathy says:

    It’s over-the-air-radio for me. Can’t be without it; no subscription, no fancy phone, new car or TV required.

  14. Eric MacRae says:

    I listen to FM and over-the-air-radio in both my car and my home.

  15. Adrian F. says:

    I currently listen to PANDORA as it is the only way I can find music I like!

    1930s to mid 1960s plus Classical Music

    IF FM/AM were to start broadcasting something besides SPORTS, TALK, RAP, and other TRASH

  16. D. Semar says:

    inlive in the city had satellite & would regularly loose the signal due to wind, rain or snow. I think it’s a mistake for any country to go totally digital right now. Maybe at some point in the future as they work the “bugs” out?

  17. linda s says:

    Like AM and FM
    Can use any radio anywhere.
    Wait to change until the babyboomers are no more!

  18. fred says:

    FM is FREE. Works many more areas than digital.

  19. Donna M says:

    I am still listening to my radio the good old fashioned way. I am afraid if they change things I (along with other senior citizens) will be left out in the cold because we will not be able to afford it.

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