Tuesday 27 September 2016

Another 77 Frequencies For Local FM Radio in Denmark

DAB replacing FM is not yet visible on the horizon.
All broadcasting licenses for local FM radio in Denmark expires at the end of 2017. Before new allocation of frequencies for local radio during next year, the Energy Board has presented a list of 103 vacant frequencies in the FM band. Of these 77 are new frequencies, while 26 are "old" and still vacant. A total of 635 local frequencies will be assigned

The authority has pressured for an  increased number of frequencies by utilizing the FM band more efficiently, which can end up that some frequencies may get reduced coverage. However the overall coverage of local radio will be increased. At least 33 of the 77 frequencies must be coordinated with neighboring countries. The national FM networks are not affected.

There are now 558 FM frequencies set aside for local radio in Denmark. With the new round of state thus 635 frequencies will be assigned. This time it will not be as before a single tender for both commercial and non-commercial local radio (community radio), but now there will be two separate processes. The Media Authority has drawn up a basis for a consultation before a hearing October 27, 2016.

Meanwhile the Radio and Television Board also bids for regional broadcasting in the DAB multiplex block 3. This is about 12 regions by up to 16 channels each. Already in 2015 this was open for applications, but interest was lacking. This can mainly be due to  a tender guarantee of 250,000 DKK was required. Now it is a renewed attempt with no  demands on guarantee payment. A transition from DAB to DAB+ is now underway in Denmark.

DAB was introduced 2002 in Denmark but today DAB listening is only 16 percent. There are currently no plans to close the FM band.  However, the politicians are set to decide on the issue, including a proposal for a start time for an FM switch-off if and when digital listening (including the Internet) reach 50 percent in Denmark. This requirement applies explicitly also for in-car radio listening.

Read more in the Media authority documents:

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