26.10.2021 - RADIONYTT.NO - Kyrre Dahl
Åslaug Sem-Jacobsen, MP (Stortinget)
In 2017 the national broadcasters of Norway shut down their networks on FM and became digital only. At the same time all commercial local radio stations in the big cities were banned from using FM, but outside these areas local radio were allowed to continue to 2022.
This was meant to be an extra period for small local radiostations to switch over to digital radio, eg. DAB. But in 2021 FM is still the most important distribution system for local radio and the licences have already been extended to 2026.
The new government formed by Arbeiderpartiet (Ap) and Senterpartiet (Sp) published in october their new platform and in a statement they promised to allow local radio to stay on FM until at least december 2031.
Åslaug Sem-Jacobsen, Member of Parliament ( Stortinget ) for Sp has advocated for the continued use of FM and is very pleased with the announcement:
- It is important for our media diversity that local radio gets the best possible framework conditions and the opportunity to develop in the way they think is best. Local radio is, together with other local media, very important to us in SP, says Sem-Jacobsen to lokalradio.no
There is however no promise of allowing commercial local radio in the big cities back on FM and no mentioning of national radio reopening their FM transmitters. Sp has earlier proposed that the main public channel NRK P1 should broadcast on FM, but failed to get this through parliament.
The reaction in the local radio industry, is predictably positive, with several radio leaders stating that FM is still important and some says it is time to drop the FM switchoff alltogheter.
Ap and Sp has formed a new minority goverment and therefore needs support from other parties to get the proposal through Parliament, but in the current political climate it is unlikely that it will fail.