We have received a large number of applications for May/June 2017, which is a peak period of short-term Restricted Service Licence (RSL) activity. In keeping with our practice in previous years, we will conduct a draw to decide which applicants will be awarded RSLs for this period in contested areas (for which we have received more than one valid application).
The draw will be held at Ofcom’s offices in London on the 24 March 2017 at 2pm. Applicants wishing to attend should email email@example.com and we will send further details.
The results of the draw will be posted on our website, along with a video of the draw, which will be available to view for a short time.
Draw schedule for May/June 2017 applications:
Other applications received for this period and not in areas listed above will be considered in our standard process, and applicants have been notified.
After the above draw we will also conduct the following other draws:
Hajj (August 2017)
Draw 7: Bradford – 2 applicants
The closing date for applications to broadcast a temporary FM radio station using a Short-term Restricted Service Licence (‘S-RSL’) between 24 May and 28 June 2017 was 1 December 2016. The applications which have been received are listed at the link below.
Ofcom will not now accept any further applications to provide S-RSLs between 24 May and 28 June 2017 in the geographical areas listed at the link below. We may, however, still be able to accept applications for broadcasts in other parts of the UK during this period.
An SRSL is a short-term radio licence broadcast on AM or FM analogue radio, granted for coverage of events, religious festivals or for trial broadcasts in preparation for applying for a longer-term licence. SRSLs are usually granted for a maximum of 28 consecutive days and are for small-scale community use. The service is restricted in both coverage and duration to make optimal use of the radio spectrum available for this type of licence, and to satisfy as far as is practicable the level of demand from applicants.
Short Term RSLs: Guidance notes for licence applicants and licensees PDF, 333.1 KB
Updated November 2015
To be kept informed about community radio, including notification of when we invite applications as well as other broadcasting issues, sign up for our broadcasting email updates.
Community radio: volunteer input PDF, 111.7 KB
Guidelines for community radio stations that wish to use volunteer time as part of station turnover.
Community Radio standard form licence PDF, 283.0 KB
A sample licence
As existing commercial analogue radio licences approach their expiry date, our general approach is to issue a "pre-advertisement", inviting current or potential licensees to declare their intentions to apply. If more than one applicant declares an interest, we will issue a full re-advertisement of the licence and assess these according to our criteria. We will also advertise any licences that become available, for example if surrendered by the current licence holder.
DSPS and DAS licence applicants - notes of guidance PDF, 118.8 KB
For services broadcast on multiplexes
Digital Additional Sound Service (DAS) application form DOC, 76.5 KB
Multiplex broadcasting application
Digital Sound Programme Service (DSPS) application form DOC, 71.5 KB
Multiplex broadcasting application form
Radio Licensable Content Service (RLCS) application form DOC, 178.5 KB
Satellite and/or cable broadcasting applications
Radio Licensable Content Service (RLCS) guidance PDF, 113.1 KB
Information for satellite and cable applicants
Radio Licensable Content Service (RLCS) guidance RTF, 1.8 MB
Available in RTF format information for satellite and cable applicants
A more straightforward way of setting up a radio service is to start an internet/intranet radio station. We do not regulate online-only radio services, and so these stations do not require a licence from Ofcom.
However, to play any music on an online station, you will need the relevant licences from the music royalty collection agencies, PPL and PRS for Music. These organisations operate separately from Ofcom, and you will need to contact them directly to find out if there are any additional requirements and costs.