Ofcom has visited Castle FM’s unauthorised transmission site in Edinburgh to turn off its transmitter.
The incident happened after Ofcom recorded breaches by the station, including failure to provide the licensed service. The station was on notice that if similar compliance issues arose in future, further regulatory action could be taken.
On 5 September 2014, following a complaint to Ofcom, Ofcom engineers confirmed that Castle FM’s antenna had been moved from its authorised location and the station was transmitting from an alternative, unauthorised transmission site in central Edinburgh.
Consequently, Ofcom’s engineers visited the transmission site and the unauthorised transmitter was switched off. The Licensee was informed that in order to broadcast from a site other than the one stated in its licence, it would need to submit a ‘Technical Change Request’ for Ofcom’s consideration. A form was subsequently submitted but rejected, on the basis that the proposed new transmitter location would be an inappropriate site from which to serve Leith.
Castle FM is a community radio station licensed to serve Leith in the north of the city, and has had a troubled past. It was evicted from its studios and recently changed name from Leith FM “to give the organisation a fresh start after a number of issues within the membership during the early part of Leith FM”
To date (Monday last week), the Castle FM service is not being provided from the licensed location and Ofcom is considering a revised technical plan submitted by the station. The regulator says Castle FM is in breach of its licence for failing to provide its licensed service in accordance with its Key Commitments and is now on notice pending possible further regulatory action.