Norway Plans to Ditch FM Radio

Norway Plans to Ditch FM Radio (ABC News)

The FM radio dial will soon join the ranks of obsolete technology alongside the floppy disk, answering machines and VCRs -- well at least in Norway.

The Scandinavian country's Ministry of Culture said in a statement that FM radio will be switched off in 2017 with digital radio taking its place.

Moore's Law: What's in Store For the Next 50 Years of Computing Power

Google Tests Internet-Filled Balloon in California As Bill Gates Criticizes the Project

Google Project Uses Balloons to Expand Internet Access

Norwegians won't lose their favorite radio programming and can instead expect higher quality and more choices, according to Thorhild Widvey, Norway's Minister of Culture, who said the move was first discussed in 2011.

"Listeners will have access to more diverse and pluralistic radio content, and enjoy better sound quality and new functionality," Widvey said in a statement. "Digitization will also greatly improve the emergency preparedness system, facilitate increased competition and offer new opportunities for innovation and development."

Norway's digital audio broadcasting network (DAB) already includes 22 national channels with room for plenty more, whereas the country's FM radio station hosts five.

When the FM dial dies, broadcasters will be able to decide whether to take their stations to DAB or the more cutting edge DAB+. The Ministry of Culture also said it expects the majority of future radio programming in Norway to be on DAB+.

The move may be a win for everyone. According to the Ministry of Culture, the cost of transmitting FM radio is eight times higher than going digital.

It's expected the switch could provide as much as $25 million USD in savings per year for national channels, allowing more money to be invested in programming.