The EFTA Surveillance Authority has for the second time this spring asked Norwegian authorities to explain whether the development of DAB in Norway has been illegal, according to the newspaper Dagens Næringsliv.
In March ESA sent a letter to the Norwegian Government and Culture Minister Linda Hofstad Helleland (H) with 13 questions about the digitalisation of the radio network. On Sunday Dagens Næringsliv writes that another letter has been sent from the supervisory body to the Norwegian authorities. This time Minister of trade Monica Mæland (H) has received questions concerning whether the commitment to the development of DAB and NRK’s use of three-digit million sums in the compound may be illegal use of license money.
ESA are concerned about whether the requirement for technology neutrality has been observed. The reason why they are once more are requesting a response from Norwegian authorities is a complaint they have received from an anonymous Norwegian broadcasting company. The letter states that government support for development has not been reported to the EU / EFTA countries, which is required for this kind of legislation.
According to the newspaper, it is claimed in the new complaint that the public supported the DAB initiative with 205.6 million kroner, mostly in the form of license funds from NRK.
The complainant believes inter alia that NRK’s commitment to the development of special DAB channels fall outside public service mission. NRK denies the accusations of violation of the law and argues that the choice of DAB technology was made seven years before the EU legislation was introduced
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today