OSLO, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- A Norwegian lawmaker has called for postponing the planned shutdown of the country's FM network next year as many people are experiencing bad digital radio coverage, public broadcaster NRK reported on Friday.
"Radio has an important emergency function and if there are many who do not get DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) or have one of such a bad quality that they cannot reply on the coverage, we have a serious problem," said Janne Sjelmo Nordas, a member of Norwegian parliament. "That is why we should postpone closing down of the FM network."
Norway plans to close down the FM transmissions in the county of Nordland in January next year and the rest of the country is supposed to follow up from February to December.
According to the last measurement of DAB coverage by the Norwegian Communications Authority (Nkom) on behalf of the Ministry of Culture, 99.7 percent of the country's population can now listen to radio via DAB.
Nordas however thinks that the parliament should listen to the people's experiences.
"People throughout the country report that we need to stop this and we need to take it seriously. That is why we promote a suggestion in parliament that the shutdown of FM network has to be postponed until it can be documented that the coverage is as it should be," she said.
The person responsible for DAB project in NRK thinks that Nordas missed an important meeting in parliament where the channels NRK, P4 and Digital Radio Norge informed the participants on the status of radio digitalization.
"If she were there, she would have gotten answers to all the questions she has now brought up in the parliament hall. We think that it is blameworthy that she does this in this way and creates uncertainty around the technology shift that is demanding for everyone who works with it -- and also for the audience," said Oyvind Vasaasen, a division director in NRK.
He added that it is a fact that the audience experiences different radio reception "due to the challenges around the use of DAB receivers and their installation."
"However, the DAB network itself is measured as very good. The last Nkom report shows that 99.7 percent of the population has DAB coverage and they believe that the coverage would reach 99.8 percent when the FM network closes down," Vasaasen said.