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FM Shutdown Eyed Within Five Years in Flanders

Flemish media minister has unveiled a plan to have radio go all-digital

The Flanders region in Belgium is looking to do away with FM radio within the next five years, according to a report from De Standaard.

Flemish Media Minister Sven Gatz has unveiled a plan that will see the region switch to DAB+ digital radio, which he anticipates will provide more room in the spectrum for additional channels.

The minister also plans to establish new commercial “network” stations, which are described as something between national and local radio channels.

With current radio licenses set to expire next year, new FM licenses will be issued on the condition that stations commit to the DAB+ transition, per the report. If full DAB+ coverage is achieved by 2022, FM stations will be shut down when half of all listening is done over DAB+.