CMA - Community radio: future licensing and technical policy

The Community Media Association (CMA) welcomes plans released by Ofcom on the future of licensing for community radio.

Today Ofcom has announced its plans for future licensing and its technical policy, as part of the plans Ofcom is conducting a fourth round of community radio licensing, firstly for those areas currently served by a licensed community radio station and then looking at areas of overlap.

The CMA welcomes these plans, a result of Ofcom’s consultation at the end of 2016 and the continued lobbying and dialogue between the CMA and Ofcom, the CMA which has the responsibility to represent and support all community media, including community radio stations licensed, aspirational, and in any form.

“It’s fantastic that Ofcom is opening further licensing to enable the opportunity for communities to come together to have their own radio stations. Community radio really shines as a community asset, excellent for championing local issues, bringing communities together and being a vehicle for community development. The CMA’s vision is one where everyone has access to community media as practitioners and audience”, Lucinda Guy, Chair of the CMA, Director of Soundart Radio.

“The CMA has worked really hard on behalf of all community radio to press Ofcom into a quick round of licensing and it’s exciting that finally more stations will have the opportunity to apply for a licence. Some of our members such as Cannock Chase Radio have been waiting a long time for the chance to apply for a licence and we encourage them to take up this opportunity and make the most of it for their community”, Martin Steers, CMA Treasurer, Home Counties Community Media.

“I’m personally and professionally delighted with this positive step forward from Ofcom today. The response to the technical consultation has been long anticipated and the CMA looks forward to continue to support our members, the sector, and all aspiring stations to apply for a community radio licence or for a variation to an existing licence. We look forward to continued dialogue with Ofcom to ensure that work on the next round of licensing proceeds swiftly and smoothly”, Bill Best, CMA Operations Manager.

The pending Round Four phase formally opens on 5th May when Ofcom will release updated application forms and guidance material and will close on Thursday 27th July 2017.

It’s also a strong and welcome development for community radio that Ofcom is looking at coverage, with the opportunity for existing licensees to have their coverage reconsidered to ensure they can serve their community better and also that Ofcom is amending its technical policy and is adopting a flexible approach.

The CMA welcomes all community radio stations to join the organisation, especially those aspiring to apply and hold a licence. The CMA is a vibrant family with a wide range of membership, our core purposes are to represent, support and develop community media organisations. We can also provide individual advice and guidance to members in relation to all matters involving Ofcom.

For more information of the announcement from Ofcom please visit their website here:

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/consultations-and-statements/category-2/cr-future-licensing

For more information about the CMA and our work, please visit our website here:

http://www.commedia.org.uk/