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Swedish government tunes out from digital radio

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12:58 CET+01:00
The government has rejected further development of digital radio in Sweden and will not be switching off the FM network. A formal statement is expected next week, according to Dagens Nyheter.

Culture minister Leif Pagrotsky said that the government does not want Swedes to have to throw out the 25-30 million radio sets in the country which would not work on a digital audio broadcast (DAB) network.

Nor is the government prepared to bear the costs of running two networks in parallel.

The main advantage for the listener was supposed to be crystal-clear, interference-free reception, while broadcasters would be able to pack far more channels into the same amount of radio spectrum.

Trials with DAB radio, which began ten years ago, have cost 320 million kronor. But only 7,000 digital radio sets have been sold during that time.

The chairman of Swedish Radio, Ove Joanson, and managing director, Peter Örn, have said that they favour exclusive investment in DAB and the closure of the analogue FM network.

In a letter to Pagrotsky some months ago, the pair wrote that DAB is an "unavoidable condition" for the further development of Swedish Radio. A rejection of the concept would, they argued, create "unacceptable conflicts" and a radio network "stuffed into an antiquated 1970s suit".

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TT/The Local

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