FM radio is ubiquitous in technologically developed countries around the world, just like it is in the US. That’s why Switzerland’s plan to eliminate the the FM band caught my eye. Could it be possible that whole countries are now beginning to phase out FM radio broadcasts? In a sign of the times the answer is yes. According to Switzerland’s Federal Office of Communications, radio stations will no longer be available on the FM wavelengths after 2024.
So who’s to blame for the demise of FM? Digital streaming, of course. According to the same government office 65% of Switzerland’s radio stations stream their broadcasts instead of using Frequency Modulation (FM) signals to broadcast from a transmitter tower. The simple fact is Swiss radio stations are already self-selecting out of FM at such a high rate that it doesn’t make sense for the government to still maintain the FM band.
As it turns out Switzerland isn’t even the first country to begin the process of disbanding FM. In 2017 Norway initiated the same process. Makes you wonder how many more countries will go FM-free over the next 10-20 years?