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Swiss authorities propose changes to current licensing system and legal changes for FM switch-off

Illustration: Pinell Go DAB+

Switzerland: Digital regional radio stations should not be subject to a licensing system that includes a performance mandate. The proposal suggests changes from 2020 in a consultation that also includes milestones for an FM switch-off.


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From 2020, regional radio stations which cover conurbations should benefit from greater autonomy by no longer being subject to a licensing system including a performance mandate. This proposal is included in the revised Radio and Television Ordinance (RTVO) which the Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) is putting out for consultation from 16 February 2017.

The new text, which deals with radio broadcasting, also lays down milestones for the migration from FM to DAB+.

It is in answer to a request from the radio industry that wants to make a switch-over to DAB+ – a process they hope to complete between 2020 and 2024. With this consultation the authorities are laying down the groundwork, legally, for this to happen. The consultation paper outlines the opportunity for stations to continue on FM during the switch-over period between 2020 and 2024, however to remain on FM will incur a fee.

The consultation runs until 26 May 2017.

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