BOLZANO, South Tyrol, Italy � The autonomous region of South Tyrol (in northern Italy) has decided to �sunset� VHF FM services, starting early next month. Nineteen FM transmitters are to be turned off. In November of next year, the rest of the FM transmission system will shut down � another 22 transmitters. Radio listeners will by necessity use over-the-air DAB+ thereafter.
The broadcasters in South Tyrol have the same problem as Norwegian broadcasters � an aging FM network that would cost a lot of money to upgrade. The argument about lower maintenance costs and lower energy consumption has also been important in the decision, according to radioassistant.com.
The governor of South Tyrol, Arno Kompatscher, said at a recent press conference that �the future is digital.� He also assumed that DAB + radios are both available, affordable and offer energy saving compared with analog radios, according to the same article. On average, households in southern Tyrol have at least one digital radio.
The shutdown is planned in two stages, said Kompatscher, to make the shutdown �as gentle as possible for the users.�