DCMS has published the small-scale DAB consultation document, accompanied by a press release headed ‘Government to help commercial and community radio to go digital.’
The press release highlights the progress made by digital radio and the opportunity offered by small-scale technology to enable hundreds of local commercial and community stations to broadcast on DAB for the first time.
In his quote Digital Minister Matt Hancock comments on how local radio is much-loved and the need to support local radio by making sure the rules are up to date and that the opportunity exists to use new digital technology to reach audiences.
Digital Radio UK are quoted as welcoming the small -scale DAB consultation but emphasising that ‘there is much work to be done to fully consider the best use of the limited spectrum available and how small-scale can work most efficiently alongside existing local and national DAB multiplexes.’
The consultation will run for 8 weeks starting on 4 January and completing on 5pm 28 February and covers 12 key questions relating to community stations and digital licences, ownership of small scale radio multiplexes, the size of the multiplex area , the duration of the licences, BBC access to small-scale DAB and Ofcom’s duty to consider local commercial impacts on local multiplexes.
DCMS have said that their aim is to have new licensing arrangements in place by the end of the year. It is likely that during this period they will take measures to extend the existing trial area small-scale multiplexes whose licences expire in the first half of 2018.
A link to the press release:
A link to the consultation documentation:
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