Radio operations

Published: 19 July 2022

Information for people working in radio broadcasting and radio communications.

Formats and content regulation

A Format document sets out the type of broadcast output that each commercial radio station is required to deliver. Look up current Formats, Key Commitments and Format change requests.

Localness on local commercial radio stations

Our localness guidelines help local commercial radio stations meet their obligations to provide an appropriate amount of programmes including local material and locally made programmes. See our localness guidelines.

Public File provision for local commercial radio

The purpose of the Public File is to provide a snapshot of localness and musical output. See what the Public File must show, and other information on Public File provision for local commercial radio.

Commercial radio industry data collection

All licensed commercial radio broadcasters must complete the radio relevant turnover return every year for each licence they hold, unless specifically exempted. See information on submitting radio relevant turnover returns for commercial licence holders.

Community radio stations provide a new voice for hundreds of local communities across the UK. Fuelled by the hard work and enthusiasm of volunteers, they reflect a diverse mix of cultures and interests and provide a rich mix of mostly locally-produced content.

Community radio licensing

Apply for a radio broadcast licence and see FAQs on community radio licensing.

Community radio fund

Ofcom administers the fund, which gives grants to help fund the core costs of running Ofcom-licensed community radio stations. See how to apply, and read annual reports for the community radio fund.

Restricted services are radio services that are used to broadcast at events, or within a particular establishment or other defined location. You can find more information about them on the ‘Apply for a restricted service licence’ section of our website.


See planning policy, coverage maps and mobile coverage area overlaps.

Radio research

To provide us with the evidence we need to carry out our duties in the radio broadcasting sector, we carry out and publish market and consumer research, and collect data. See our radio broadcasting data and research.

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