Ofcom consults on new short-term licences for small-scale digital radio trials

Ofcom has published a consultation seeking views on the approach to issuing new short-term licences to support small-scale digital radio trials being run next year.

This consultation focuses on the conditions and award processes for trial Wireless Telegraphy Act licences needed to test small-scale DAB multiplexes in three locations. If successful, this new technology could allow smaller radio stations to broadcast on digital at a lower cost.

This technology was first trialled in the UK by an Ofcom engineer in Brighton between September 2012 and January 2013. This experimental DAB multiplex showed it could be feasible to deliver infrastructure capable of supporting digital radio transmission at a lower cost than the current systems used.

These trials will help inform a wider programme of work Ofcom is undertaking on the possibilities for enabling smaller radio services to broadcast on digital radio.

The consultation document can be viewed on Ofcom’s website (http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/small-scale-dab/).

The consultation sets out Ofcom’s proposals for licensing a number of short-term trial small scale DAB multiplexes. During the consultation period, Ofcom will be holding a small number of events based around the consultation proposals. The first of these will be a technical demonstration event held at Ofcom’s facility at Baldock, Hertfordshire, on 13 November 2014. For more information, or to register interest in attending, please email smallscaleDAB@ofcom.org.uk by Wednesday 5 November.

Ofcom intends to hold another event during the consultation period in London which will address the work on small scale DAB more widely. Details will be announced soon.

Source: www.commedia.org.uk