The Swedish National Audit Office Riksrevisionen has begun a review of the government’s involvement in digital radio.
A central question the organization is focusing on is if the taxpayers will get their money’s worth if DAB+ replaces FM radio in 2022 and whether it will be efficient to construct a new radio infrastructure.
According to a preliminary study, which was conducted in April of this year, there have been indications that different alternatives were not sufficiently considered, nor were the consequences for the society and citizens.
Riksrevisionen says it will investigate if the government is contributing to a transition to digital radio in an efficient manner for the national economy and is meeting citizens’ needs. The review will also provide documentation for the politicians in Riksdagen (the Parliament) regarding consequences of and alternatives to switching off the FM network and the proposed DAB+ network replacement.
In addition, the review encompasses government involvement in digital radio since 1995 to 2005. Riksrevisionen also calls into question the choice of DAB+ versus mobile streaming.
“There is a risk that we are establishing a structure which is not asked for and needed,” said Philippe Jolly, digital radio project director at the Audit Office, in an interview by Sveriges Radio.
The WorldDMB forum told Radio World that the organization, along with the European Broadcasting Union, was supportive of the major Swedish broadcasters’ position in pursuing DAB+.
A report will be published in March 2015, prior to a parliament decision on the fate of digital radio in Sweden.
— Christer Hederström