New Ofcom licences

Music fans tuning in to community radio stations

Community music radio is growing

Opportunities for more small-scale music digital radio stations are being set out by the media regulator.

Ofcom says technology now allows for more low-cost local commercial stations to use the latest technology and it is looking at a licensing round.

Small-scale digital audio broadcasting (DAB) uses freely available software and computer technology to transmit digital radio services and broadcast to a relatively small geographic area.

It allows stations to use inexpensive equipment to get on air for far less money than was previously possible.

Ofcom says it will expand local digital radio coverage and ensure that listeners will be able to tune into a diverse range of radio services across the UK on the DAB platform which now accounts for 40% of the UK’s radio listening.

Kevin Bakhurst, Ofcom’s content group director, said: “Small-scale DAB is making it cheaper and easier for local stations to get on the digital airwaves, which will give more choice to listeners up and down the country.”

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