Radio broadcast update October 2018
- Short-term restricted service licences
- Analogue commercial radio
- Digital radio
- Analogue community radio
Short-term restricted service licences
Yesterday, Ofcom opened an application window (which will remain open until 5pm on Friday 23 November 2018), for any potential applicant for an SRSL hoping to broadcast on any dates between Friday 3 May and Friday 7 June 2019 – an anticpated period of high demand.
We have also published a statement (PDF, 245.7 KB) on changes we have made to the licensing process for SRSLs, which are reflected in the guidance notes for applicants and licensees (PDF, 561.6 KB) and the application form (DOCX, 114.1 KB) itself.
SRSL applications submitted using previous versions of the application from will be rejected.
Analogue commercial radio
Extension of Channel Islands licences
Ofcom’s consideration of the licence renewal applications made by Island FM Ltd for the Guernsey licence, and by Channel Radio Ltd for the Jersey licence, has been postponed for a year under s104A (8) of the Broadcasting Act 1990. This is to enable Ofcom to advertise and award a local radio multiplex for the Channel Islands. Accordingly, under section 104A(9) of the 1996 Broadcasting Act, these licences have been extended for a period of one year, to 14 October 2020 (Guernsey) and 24 October 2020 (Jersey).
Licence renewals granted in this period
A 12 year renewal has been granted to the following:
Aberdeen (Original 106)
Original Aberdeen FM Limited
Oxford & South Oxfordshire (Jack FM)
Passion Radio (Oxford) Limited
A five year renewal has been granted to the following:
Ayr (West FM)
West Sound Radio Limited
Ayr (West Sound)
West Sound Radio Limited
Bristol & Bath (Heart)
GWR (West) Limited
Greater London (LBC 97.3)
LBC Radio Limited
Greater London (LBC London News)
LBC Radio Limited
Greater Manchester (Capital)
Galaxy Radio Manchester Limited
Luton & Bedford (Heart)
Chiltern Radio Limited
Analogue station Format Changes
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.
Sun FM (Sunderland) (PDF, 319.2 KB)
Absolute Radio (West Midlands) (PDF, 277.0 KB)
Free Radio 80s (Birmingham) (PDF, 277.0 KB)
Absolute Radio (Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury & Telford) (PDF, 277.0 KB)
New local digital multiplex licence
Ofcom plans to advertise a new local radio digital multiplex licence for the Channel Isles. We plan to advertise the licence in the first quarter of 2019 (see notes on analogue commercial radio, above).
DAB multiplex variations
The following multiplex variations were agreed during this period:
Addition of Jack Radio (UK) - A music-intensive station playing an eclectic mix of Middle of the Road (MOR) contemporary and classic hits by female artists for the over 45s.
Sound Digital (national)
Removal of Fun Kids - A service aimed at children.
Addition of Pirate Xmas - A temporary station playing tracks with links to Christmas. (Station will broadcast between 01 November 2018 and 01 January 2019).
Analogue community radio
Licences issued in this period
Burgess Hill Radio
Burgess Hill Community Radio CIC
Burgess Hill, West Sussex
Gaydio Brighton Limited
Brighton and Hove, East Sussex
West Somerset Radio
West Somerset Community Radio C.I.C.
Licence extensions granted in this period
A five year extension has been granted to the following:
New expiry date
Vale of Glamorgan Broadcasting Community Interest Company
Barry, Vale of Glamorgan
30 March 2024
CHBN Community Radio CIC
13 April 2024
Gravity FM CIC
30 November 2023
Somer Valley Community Radio Limited
Midsomer Norton, Somerset
11 January 2024
Coverage improvement and extension requests
Following the invitations for exisiting community radio stations to submit a technical change request, either for an improvement or an extension, we received over 130 requests in total. It will take us some time to complete all the work required to assess each one; we are dealing first with requests for improvements before we turn 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.
If a technical change is possible, in each case we will consider whether the request is in line with the requirements we set out in the guidance, including the statutory criteria, as part of our process. We will get back to each applicant in due course, by email.