Monday 7 March 2016

The Truth Behind the DAB Radio Failure in Sweden

Heavy lobbying disinformation tackled in memorandum
There has been a lot of disinformation about why Sweden finally has rejected the 2014 DAB+ proposal. Major sources for slanted or incorrect information are the interest organization European Broadcasting Union, its member Sveriges Radio and and the lobbying group WorldDAB. 
In order to check the disinformation the Swedish Public Service Council (PSR) today has presented a memorandum listing all the arguments behind the government's decision as well as around 30 other facts and arguments in the consultation round and in the public debate in Sweden.

In December 2014 a Digital Radio Coordinator assigned by a former government presented a roadmap on how to digit­­ize terrestrial radio in Sweden. It was proposed that a transition from FM to DAB+ should be implemented in the 2016-2024 period. In June 2015, after an extensive consultation process, the government rejected the proposal after an overall negative response by relevant authorities, academics and organizations. Adding to this, the National Audit Office presented a critical report on the proposal. The case was formally closed by an unanimous Parliament decision February 3, 2016 confirming the government assessment of the National Audit report.

Some might be surprised that Sweden says no to DAB while neighboring Norway says yes. One reason is that the consultation process regarding DAB was more professional in Sweden, says Gunnar Bergvall, PSR. But foremost Sweden - along with neighboring Finland - are leading edge countries when it comes to digital technology developments and mobile telecom. It is unrealistic to image young people in these countries buying a stand-alone or hand-held DAB receiver rather than a smartphone for radio and music listening. It is up to the consumers to decide for themselves if they want to retain FM. This is the way free market solutions work, says Bergvall.

Read the memo 
The True Facts Behind the DAB Radio Failure in Sweden

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