Certainly not as early as analogue TV, which is due to be gone by the end of 2012. The earliest date suggested seems to be 2015, with some broadcasters pushing for that date, but the chances are it will be much later, due to the sheer scale of ensuring the whole population can receive digital radio before analogue goes.
After all, converting the nation's car radios, portables and so on isn't quite as easy as plugging set-top Freeview boxes into TV sets...
Despite promises to the contrary over the last three years or so, there has still been no announcement of a definite date for turning off the analogue radio signal.
With analogue TV being switched off in the first areas of the country from 2008, we think it's fair to say FM radio will be a long way behind.
Edit - I see Mr. Everard has beaten me to it somewhat!
I quite agree maybe all good music fans should start lobbying their MPs to drop the idea of digital switchover, my friend has just moved into a new build flat in Devon and his Freeview box only comes up with "insufficient signal strength" -DAB radio?- he can forget about it.
The thing is the Government will steamroller switchover through unless enough noise is made by the people who disagree with it, maybe the various Hi-Fi magazine in this country should band together and start a petition.
Although I have never heard the output from a stand alone DAB tuner, I have heard other sources such as in-car and my Pure Evoke 1. In my opinion DAB stations sound compressed and dull. Obviously there is a massive improvement on AM, but for crystal clear radio you still can't beat FM, (especially BBC national radio - why do BBC FM broadcasts sound better than local radio FM broadcasts?).
........meanwhile, 13 years later:
The Culture Secretary (speaking on 'The Media Show' on FM radio today), was asked to suggest how long before switchoff.
"Not for a good 10 years", he said.
Although he went on to say that "all new cars are fitted with DAB"
Not sure how that helps me with my 17 year old car or my FM only mains tuner, but still.
I can safely say that the majority of forum members wouldn't miss FM one bit, but I'm not one of them.
(I was bought a DAB portable a few years back......it wouldn't work downstairs )
My goodness this is still going? I think by now that FM is here for the foreseeable future! My latest all-singing & dancing portable radio has DAB+/FM/Bluetooth and Internet radio and Wi-fi (Roberts iStream 3 in midnight blue) so i’m covered.