European country becomes first to cease FM broadcasting

The Norwegian parliament is moving the country to "radio digitization", becoming the first country in telecommunications history to cease FM broadcasting entirely.

The switch to digital broadcasting was announced in 2015 and will be implemented fully this year, starting with Nordland, a city in northern Norway.

The upgrade in technology is believed to save the country up to $25 million annually, while providing listeners with a more reliable network and clearer listening experience.

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The country will move county by county in dropping FM broadcasting, a process that is not foreseen to be completed nationwide until early Early December this year.

"Digitizing the radio media is part of the modernization of Norway," said Oyvind Vasaasen, an official at the country's national broadcaster, NRK.

Overseeing the switch, Vasaasen says it is too expensive to provide both FM and digital broadcasting nationwide. And though FM broadcasting first arrived in Norway in the 1950s, Vasaasen says the country began introducing digital introducing digital as early as 1995.

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"The costs of maintaining an upgraded FM system would in the long run affect the quality of programs we can offer the listeners," Vasaasen told the New York Times.

Still, others remain skeptical of the country's haste to tuning out FM signals, an effect that impact millions of homes and up to an estimated 20 million analog receivers in the country of 5 million.

Norwegian-based Dr. Benjamin Stage Storm feels that the government is spending a "vast amount of resources on shutting down a functional system and at the same time pushing lots of people into scrapping their otherwise well-working radios."

However, though other countries — Britain, Switzerland and Denmark, in particular — are considering closing down FM networks, neither country has yet announced a decision.