In a move that most countries seem particularly slow to get around to, Norway is ending analog radio nationally. The country began doing so yesterday morning but all analog signals won’t be shut down until later in the year.
As to the answer of “Why now” the Ministry of Culture notes that the price of keeping analog radio around just isn’t worth it due to equipment, maintenance, and trying to bring radio to citizens living in the country’s more rugged areas.
The closing marks the end of over 20 years of Norway offering both digital and analog. The move towards digital has a few advantages such as more stations being available.
Announcement of the move isn’t sitting will with some citizens who believe that not everyone is prepared for the change over or the cost of changing over via digital receivers that could run towards $230 or an entirely new radio at close to $470 for vehicles.
Svein Larsen, chairman of the Norwegian Local Radio Association voiced his concerns of change. “Norway is not prepared for this,” he said. “There are millions of radios in homes, cottages and boats that won’t work anymore and only around 25 percent of cars in Norway have digital radios or adapters.”
While Larsen is perhaps correct that Norway isn’t the country to attempt this in, other countries will be watching Norway to see how it goes. Besides, if it goes off without incident there, countries that would be more receptive to the move—or not particularly care—could see analog disappearing as well.