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Saturday, March 2
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion oped editorial

EDITORIAL: Norway axes FM radio

wednesday 1/11 illo

What’s better: 22 high-quality radio stations or five outdated radio stations that are $23.3 million more expensive?

Norway is currently facing that question, and the choice is obvious. FM radio, although a pioneer in audio broadcasting since its invention in 1933, is now archaic.

Because Norwegians only have access to a handful of national FM channels, it’s only logical that starting this month the country of five million is the first to make the switch to an all-digital transmission.

With that being said, this switch isn’t as drastic as many let on. It’s not as though FM radio will disappear off air overnight with one push of a button.

In order to make a smooth transition, Norway’s officials will let local radio stations have the right to continue broadcasting FM beyond the official switch-off in 2017.

Many proponents of the migration from FM to digital note the FM transmissions are difficult to access in areas with mountains and fjords — natural elements that Norway has no shortage of.

Although digital radio is far more reliable, NPR’s Frank Langfitt reported a lot of Norwegians are uneasy of the switch.

Two-thirds of Norway’s citizens are against ditching FM possibly because more than two million cars in Norway don’t have digital receivers.

This cause for concern shows how Norway’s switch may be premature.

So what’s the solution? Throw away two million otherwise good cars just because they don’t have Digital Audio Broadcasting capabilities?

No, but Norwegian officials have to recognize that those cars won’t magically get digital receivers once the switch occurs.

Essentially, two out of every five Norwegians will be left in the dark if something isn’t done.

Before you start gawking about why Norwegians even need FM radio stations anymore when they have the all-seeing invisible cloud, think about emergencies. What if, god forbid, your phone dies? FM radio is the old faithful of the digital age.

We’re not predicting that Norway will end up in some type of alien apocalypse situation, but it’s important to note that in every single the-world-is-ending movie, the only piece of technology that still seems to be working is radio. This clearly means it’s foolproof in real life.

Jokes aside, the Editorial Board believes the logical solution would be for the Norwegian government to temporarily subsidize digital radio adapters in order to make them more affordable.

This way citizens with older cars will still be able to access the 22 public radio stations on the digital network.

CNN’s Emma Lacey-Bordeaux put it best when she said, “Video may have killed the radio star, but in Norway it’s digital that’s killing FM radio.”

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