Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Denmark Also Switches Off FM

The government of Denmark has agreed with the opposition to switch off FM in 2019, reports That makes Denmark the second country in the world to set a time frame for an FM switch off and to go for digital radio only, via DAB+. Norway has already decided on January 2017 as the switch off date for analogue radio.

”The world is going digital, and this is therefore a natural evolution that corresponds well to earlier work and political decisions in this area, just as what was the case with television a few years back. By setting a switch off date, we send a clear signal to both the industry and the listeners that we are moving forward. By setting a date so distant as 2019, the Danish will have plenty of time to take the FM switch off into consideration when they aquire new radio receivers." Says Danish Minister of Culture Uffe Elbæk in a press release issued today.

Denmark will at the same time go from DAB to more efficient and robust DAB+. 50% of the radio listening must happen digitally in 2018 for the switch off to happen, although this is a reasonable criteria that is not far off even today. Denmark was one of the first countries to start DAB transmissions, and both the uptake and the number of available DAB stations has been high. 

The Danish announcement is as expected. The questions now is which countries will follow next. I am guessing that the UK, the Netherlands, Poland, France and Germany will follow suit, as discussed here.