Ofcom is consulting on its approach to licensing small-scale DAB, and how it would exercise its new powers and duties being proposed by the Government. The consultation sets out:
More information is available in the consultation document (PDF, 6.8 MB), and details about how to respond on our website. We would like to hear from interested parties by Friday 4 October 2019, and intend to start advertising licences early in 2020.
Ofcom has received one declaration for the following licence, from the current licensee. We are therefore inviting the incumbent licensee to re-apply for the licence under the fast track' procedure as set out in Ofcom's guidelines:
|Area (station)||Current licensee|
|Weymouth and Dorchester (Wessex FM)||Wessex Broadcasting Limited|
Ofcom has announced that it has re-awarded the following local FM commercial radio licences to the current licensees. The licences have been re-awarded under Ofcom’s ‘fast-track’ process, as set out in published guidelines, and will be for a period of 12 years from the current expiry date:
|Area (station)||Current licensee||Current expiry date|
|Alton and Haslemere (The Breeze)||Celador Radio Limited||21 November 2019|
|Ludlow and South Shropshire (Sunshine Radio)||Murfin Media Limited||30 September 2019|
|Southend (Radio Essex)||Radio Essex Limited||28 March 2020|
Each station has as part of its licence, a ‘Format’ which outlines what the essential nature of the service is and details any specific expectations of that service.
Any changes to a format can only be made by following the correct procedure and with the appropriate permission from Ofcom.
During the last month the service listed below had its request for an improvement to its existing coverage provisionally agreed, subject to the new technical arrangements going through our usual formal clearance process (this includes Ofcom liaising with a number of outside agencies before changes can be implemented).
|Service||Licensed area||Change to licensed area|
|Downtown Radio/Cool FM||Northern Ireland||Low-power relay for Newtonabbey|
|Awaz FM Limited|
|Upload Radio Ltd|
The following multiplex variations were agreed during this period:
Removal of Cyber Rock – Classic rock
Addition of Fun Kids Junior – A radio station for pre-school children and their families, with music and relevant speech content
Addition of Capital – A contemporary and chart music-led service for the under 40s
Addition of Heart – A mainstream popular music and information station for under 44s
Addition of Smooth Radio – An easy listening station targeting listeners aged 50 plus
|Hereford and Worcester, Lincolnshire|
Ofcom has received three applications for the Channel Islands local radio multiplex licence. You can see the applications and details on how to provide comments on our website.
|Purbeck Coast||Swanage Pier Trust (The)||Swanage, Doreset|
|Revive FM||Minhaj-Ul-Quran International||London Borough of Newham|
|The Flash||The Flash On Air Limited||Waterlooville, Hampshire|
A five-year extension has been granted to the following:
|Service name||Licensee||Location||New expiry date|
|Alive Radio||Alive Christian Media Limited||Dumfries||31 August 2024|
|Speysound Radio||Speysound Radio Limited||Aviemore||5 December 2024|
During 2018, Ofcom invited community radio stations to submit requests for coverage improvements and extensions if they wished. During the last month the services listed below have had their requests provisionally agreed, subject to the new technical arrangements going through our usual formal clearance process (this includes Ofcom liaising with a number of outside agencies before changes can be implemented). We have considered the following requests to constitute coverage improvements.
Coverage improvements agreed:
|Hermitage FM||Coalville, Leicestershire|
|Hitmix Radio||Newcastle under Lyme|
|Salford City Radio||Salford|
|The Cat||Crewe and Nantwich|
|Unity Radio||Central Manchester|
Ofcom received over 130 requests in total for an improvement or an extension from existing community radio stations. It is taking us some time to complete all the work required to assess each one; we have dealt first with requests for improvements before we turned our attention to extension requests.
The success of an application is, amongst other things, dependent on frequency availability and whether there may be an increase in harmful outgoing interference to other stations. In every case we need to take account of other services (community, commercial and BBC) on the same frequency or an adjacent one to yours (or to a frequency that we may be considering for a relay). Please see the guidance document (PDF, 325.1 KB) for further information.
The Community Radio Fund end-of-year report 2018-19 (PDF, 183.7 KB) has been submitted to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and is available on our website.