Opendab CIC offers a partnership approach to small-scale DAB

Small-scale digital broadcast radio is coming to the UK and a new company, Opendab CIC has been established to partner community and commercial radio broadcasters.

For the first time hundreds of existing and new, community and commercial, radio services will be able to broadcast digitally using high quality DAB+.

Opendab CIC, which launched this week as Parliament is set to pass SSDAB legislation and follows the start of Ofcom’s consultation on small-scale DAB, offers community and local commercial broadcasters a partnership approach to digital radio.

The new company will be geared up to provide essential know-how, plan the application process and devise the necessary transmission infrastructure to make small scale DAB radio work for communities around the UK.

Paul Boon, a long-time radio campaigner, journalist and broadcaster explains:

"Opendab can offer essential know-how and plan the necessary application process and transmission infrastructure to make small-scale DAB work. We want to hear from individual radio stations about how together we could develop their SSDAB aspirations. One possibility could be a low cost ‘plug-in’ and broadcast option that offers minimal fuss at a low cost. It’s really important to listen to what community radio and smaller commercial broadcasters want and so we’d encourage anyone interested in exploring the possibilities for SSDAB to get in touch via our website .”

Dr Lawrie Hallett, academic, founder of Future Digital Norfolk - the Norfolk trial multiplex and long time member of the Community Media Association adds:

“The small-scale DAB trial brought to the sector a raft of technical innovation*. The clear indication is that SSDAB can provide a new entry level for aspiring broadcasters while also being an add-on for existing community and smaller commercial FM broadcasters. With the Opendab model, this could be offered at a fair and proportionate price point”.

Daniel Nathan, who together with Ofcom senior engineer Rashid Mustapha ran the first open source ‘Brighton Experimental’ service in 2012 and launched the UK’s first ‘trial’ small scale multiplex in 2015, said of Opendab’s structure:

“Our non profit maximising model is clearly differentiated from the existing local DAB multiplex model. With Opendab we want to find ways that all participating and competing broadcast services can invest in and benefit from stable multiplex development, rather than adopting a system that allows the multiplex gatekeeper to opt for short term value extraction.

"At Opendab, we’re grateful for the time and energy shown by successive Ministers and Civil Servants at DCMS and, of course, Ofcom in their backing for the radical experiment we began in Brighton almost six years ago. We look forward to playing a part in the roll-out of fully licenced small-scale DAB from early next year.”


For more information about Opendab, contact: Paul Boon+44 (0)7931 553991


Opendab is a ‘non-profit distributing’ Community Interest Company - it will trade transparently, while assets are ‘locked’ - which means that it cannot be sold to third parties. Its directors and members are established figures in UK radio with long term experience of every aspect of public service, commercial and community broadcasting.

  • Examples of the technical innovation brought about through the Ofcom small-scale DAB trial include the first continuous UK implementations of DAB+ codecs with improved sound quality and listener experience, Slide-Show display, as well as innovation in IP contribution feeds, encoding, multiplexing, monitoring and distribution.

Opendab address & contact details:

11 Old Steine, Brighton, BN1 1EJ
+44 (0) 01273 669595