BRUSSELS�The European Free Trade Association Surveillance Authority (ESA) has initiated an investigation of the impending Norwegian FM shutdown at the behest of the Norwegian Local radio Association.� ESA put its questions to the Norwegian authorities in a letter. �
The Norwegian Parliament has decided that the national channels will shut down their FM transmitters next year and transmit only via DAB+.� It was then decided that most local stations will continue on FM, while the largest commercial local radio in urban areas are being forced by to shut down FM, against their will, according tolokalradio.no.�
The Local radio Association has appealed to the European monitoring body because they fear favoritism of the major players in the radio market, such as NRK, P4 and Radio Norway, and they believe the policy is contrary to EU competition laws.
ESA�s letter to the Norwegian state poses 13 specific questions relating to the digitization, and they are requiring an answer by March 23. A key question is this:� �Have you considered just the DAB standard or other standards as well?”
The EU supports the digitization of media, but political authorities usually do not lay down guidelines for the selection of technological standards.