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German Government Rejects Proposed Ban on FM Radios

Culture Committee of the Federal Council previously recommended ban starting in 2019

Analog radio isn’t finished in Germany just yet. After a proposal from the Culture Committee of the Federal Council to stop the sale of pure FM radios in Germany as of 2019 was made in September, the federal government rejected the proposed ban, reports Telecompaper.

The Federal Council’s proposal would have been an amendment to section 48 of the Telecommunications Act, which would have required manufacturers to build radios that support DAB+. The proposal was based on the EU’s Universal Service Directive.

The Federal government rejected the proposal on the basis that the Universal Service Directive applied only to the interoperability of TV sets and that a corresponding requirement for radio does not exist. However, reports say there will be opportunities for further amendments to the German Telecommunications Act next year

According to WorldDAB, multiple discussions about requiring radio receivers to offer both FM and digital capability are taking place at European and national levels. The organization points to a French law along these lines that will be triggered when digital radio coverage exceeds 20 percent of the population — a threshold, it said, seems likely to be achieved next year with the launch of services in Lille, Lyon and Strasbourg.

“The benefits of requiring both FM and digital capability in radio sets would be significant,” stated WorldDAB. “This would help accelerate the uptake of digital listening, deliver economies of scale and reduce the costs associated with a digital migration.”

Related: Germany Pushes to Ban FM Radio Sales Post 2019