Ofcom has announced details of the application process and draw for stations wanting to run restricted service licence broadcasts during Ramadan in June and July next year.
The regulator says it expects a large number of applications and, since demand is high in certain areas of the UK for limited FM frequencies, is likely to have to allocate licences by drawing lots rather than on a first-come first-served basis.
Applicants wishing to provide a service in June or July 2014 are invited to submit their application between 13 January and 17 January 2014.
Ofcom said: “We intend to hold the draw soon after 17 January 2014 and will then inform successful applicants when technical checks have verified the availability of a suitable frequency, and payment of the fee has cleared through our bank. A recording of the draw will be made available via our website.”
Applications for Ramadan RSLs next year cost £400, which is non-refundable even if the applicant is unsuccessful in the draw. Applications for a service linked to a religious event (such as Ramadan) have to include a letter of support as set out in Ofcom’s guidance notes. Multiple applications from the same group for the same area aren’t permitted and organisations with a link to another group applying for a licence have to declare their connection.
Ofcom also says non-Ramadan applications received for June-July may also have to be included in the draw if the area and broadcast dates overlap with a Ramadan applicant.
Ofcom added: “RSL operators are reminded that if they wish to broadcast charity appeals they need to comply with the requirements of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code. The broadcaster needs to take reasonable steps to satisfy itself that the charity appeal organisation concerned can produce satisfactory evidence of charitable status, or, in the case of an emergency appeal, that a responsible public fund has been set up to deal with it.”
Read more here on the Ofcom website.