Small-scale DAB is to get a boost as Ofcom prepares to licence a number of smaller multiplexes.
The regulator will launch a consultation next week inviting stations to be part of the test, which will give existing stations a chance to go on DAB for a nine month period.
Peter Davies, Director of Content Policy at Ofcom, speaking at the Tech Con event in Salford today, said: “There are around 150 small scale radio and 200 or more community radio stations and for them the existing multiplex structure just doesn’t work.
“We want to give those stations a chance to go digital, and we’d like to see community and commercial stations working together,” he said.
Peter started off his session by admitting that DAB has not been a good platform for small scale radio so far and this new consultation will take a look at the licence conditions and awards process.
Trials will be for nine months and ofcom will provide equipment but not operating and installation costs. Once a station has been awarded a trial, they will be expected to be on-air within 12 months.
During the consultation period, Ofcom will be holding a small number of events based around the consultation proposals. The first of these will be a technical demonstration event held at Baldock, Hertfordshire, on 13 November 2014. For more information, or to register interest in attending, please email [email protected] by Wednesday 5 November.
See more details on this consultation here.