Hundreds of new digital radio stations for local listeners

Hundreds of new local digital radio stations could start broadcasting in the UK from next year, under proposals outlined by Ofcom today.

With over 40% of the UK’s radio listening now taking place on the Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) platform, today’s proposals mark a major step towards expanding local DAB coverage, giving listeners an even wider choice of new digital radio stations.

Small-scale DAB is cutting edge technology, pioneered in the UK by an Ofcom engineer. It provides local commercial, community and specialist music stations with a low-cost route to hitting the digital airwaves.

By using freely available software and computer technology to transmit digital radio services, small-scale DAB enables stations to broadcast to a relatively small geographic area.

To make the best use of valuable spectrum and give existing and new local stations the opportunity to broadcast digitally, Ofcom is allocating airwaves previously occupied by business radio.