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Sweden Discloses Digital Plan

Presents roadmap for a digital switchover from FM to DAB+

Swedish Digital Radio Coordinator, Nina Wormbs, presented a roadmap to the country’s Minister of Culture, outlining a plan developed in coordination with public service and commercial radio sectors.

Parliament is expected to make a decision on the roadmap in autumn 2015. A decision to proceed with the plan would allow for compulsory procurement of the distribution network.

The plan has three parts. These include a mutual launch by the commercial and public radio sectors with 70 percent coverage by Christmas 2016; the extension of existing analog commercial licenses, with no license fees, until FM transmissions are discontinued, to enable commercial radio to plan and invest in the new digital distribution system; and shutdown of FM in 2022, conditional on four criteria. These four conditions require that coverage be the same as existing FM transmissions (99.8 percent), there is increased offer and more value to the listener, 50 percent of daily listening is via digital radio and practical possibilities to convert cars.

If these conditions are met in 2020, then FM is to be discontinued in 2022. If the criteria are not met at that time, FM shutdown will be in 2024. FM shutdown will not affect community radio, they can continue to broadcast on FM if they so choose at that time.