The 2023 annual Forum meeting will be in Geneva on 9/10 October, an RDS2 Workshop will be held in Nantes - date still to be fixed

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In August 2021 it was decided by the Swiss Federal authorities to switch-off FM by the end of 2024. With an afterthought, now and instead the end of 2026 has been proposed. The aim is to transmit radio in the future only digitally. However, listeners are interested in the content, irrespective of whether it is broadcast as analogue or digital and still the majority of devices in use are FM only receivers, specifically in older cars.

For years, every car radio user has been able to play his or her own recorded content and streamed podcasts or streamed live radio from anywhere in the world. If you have read the user manual then you should know that local and regional traffic messages can still be received, which will then interrupt your own chosen content played. To do this, however, the radio must first be set up correctly. So, without reading the instructions for use, in most cases it does not work. Every car radio has had FM with RDS for over 30 years. All traffic announcements work using this functionality. With DAB+ radios this is the same and totally equivalent and not a bit better. If FM were switched off, millions of cars from all over Europe on Swiss roads would no longer receive traffic information. That would be totally chaotic. Swiss authorities seem to be totally ignorant in this area. How could they even propose such a nonsense? What a shame !

We at the RDS Forum would be willing to actively support all Swiss authorities with know-how. We know the Swiss approach to broadcasting traffic information very well from our cooperation with the European Broadcasting Union. In Switzerland, many things are better organized than in the neighbouring countries. Therefore, it cannot be ruled out that a reasonable solution can be found and also one that would be affordable in the long term. We would expect that Switzerland will act in the interest of Europe, and not alone, but instead in harmony with all its neighbours of which none will switch-off FM before 2030.