London radio station in danger of losing licence
Community radio station Voice of Africa Radio has been put on notice by Ofcom for being off-air since July.
The Newham station informed Ofcom on July 22nd 2015 that it had not been on-air since July 14th because it was renegotiating terms with the transmission site owner.
An email to Ofcom on August 5th said it would be back on-air in the next few days but the station remains silent.
Ofcom also said that VOAR has only broadcast the Licensed Service for approximately five weeks. Its last Facebook post was in January 2015.
In response to Ofcom’s investigation, VOAR explained that it had not been able to resolve its dispute with the owner and that negotiations had reached a “sticking point”. In addition, its transmission equipment had also been stolen.
Ofcom says the licensee is not fulfilling the fundamental purpose for which the licence was granted, and the listener is clearly not served at all by that licensee, and is therefore in breach.
The station is now on notice and Ofcom will consider these breaches for the imposition of a statutory sanction, which may include revocation of the licence. The station was previously on notice in 2011 for not sending in an annual report.
Voice of Africa Radio won its bid of a five year permanent FM licence in London on the 16th of February 2006, after six years of campaigning.