Ofcom has today published a statement following its review of community radio: future licensing and technical policy:
Ofcom has been awarding community radio licences for more than a decade, and there are now nearly 250 stations on air in the UK. These stations are small, not-for-profit services which bring a range of benefits to their target communities, and are run with the help of volunteers.
Ofcom will now proceed with a further round of analogue community radio licensing. Applications will be invited based on evidence of demand in different locations, and those which do not overlap with existing stations will be prioritised. The closing date for applications is 3pm on Thursday 27 July 2017.
Ofcom will also amend its technical policy, to remove references to set coverage areas for community radio stations. We will adopt a more flexible approach, and applications will be considered for wider areas where applicants can clearly demonstrate the proposed coverage area will better serve its target community, where it is technically possible.
Ofcom will also consider requests to improve coverage within existing licensed areas. This can help a station overcome poor coverage due to interference or local terrain issues.
For those considering applying for a community radio licence, this video provides technical and practical information about the position of your transmitter/aerial.
Today’s statement follows the consultation in October 2016.