New rules could mean hundreds of new digital radio stations

25 October 2019

New rules have come into force that could see the launch of hundreds of new digital radio stations across the UK.

Earlier this year Ofcom proposed rules that would allocate airwaves to existing and new local stations that had previously been allocated to business radio.

The Government has now confirmed that legislation will come into force enabling this to happen.

Small-scale digital audio broadcasting (DAB) is cutting edge technology, pioneered in the UK by an Ofcom engineer. It provides local commercial, community and specialist music stations with a low-cost route to hitting the digital airwaves.

By using freely available software and computer technology to transmit digital radio services, small-scale DAB enables stations to broadcast to a relatively small geographic area.

Currently, over 40% of the UK’s radio listening takes place on DAB. The new rules will help to further expand local DAB coverage, giving listeners an even wider choice of new digital radio stations.

Graham Plumb, Ofcom’s Director of Spectrum Broadcasting said: “People increasingly prefer digital radio, and by enabling smaller stations to join this digital revolution, we can broaden the choice for local listeners up and down the country.”