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Ofcom announce seven additions to timetable

The much awaited planned timetable, published by Ofcom on March 10th 2004 has been updated with seven more locations.

The planned timetable for advertisement of new analogue local commercial radio licences now contains Ipswich, Warwick, Shrewsbury, Plymouth, Southend, Rotherham and Newry. Larger licences will be announced and added to this list in March 2005..

Here are all the new details:

June 2005
Ipswich ? smaller licence

This licence is offered for a service designed to cover the town of Ipswich and the surrounding area, which may include Woodbridge and Felixstowe. This licence is not designed to cover any other significant population centres (e.g. Clacton-on-Sea , Colchester , Sudbury , Stowmarket, Diss, Halesworth or Southwold) and Ofcom will not approve transmission proposals which would deliver unacceptably strong signals into any such location.

Ofcom intends to use the 102.0 MHz frequency for this service, although no transmission site will be cleared until the successful applicant has finalised its transmission plans. It is expected that this frequency should be able to be used at a maximum effective radiated power (erp) of 2 kW (mixed polarisation), with a maximum erp of 1 kW applying in each of the horizontal and vertical planes of polarisation.

The proposed frequency will be interference limited by the existing Classic FM service from Peterborough on 100.9 MHz.

July 2005
Warwick ? smaller licence

This licence is offered for a service designed to cover the towns of Warwick, Leamington Spa and Kenilworth . This licence is not designed to serve Coventry or Stratford-upon-Avon, or any other significant population centres, and Ofcom will not approve transmission proposals which would deliver unacceptably strong signals into these locations.

Ofcom intends to use the 107.3 MHz frequency for this service, although no transmission site will be cleared until the successful applicant has finalised its transmission plans. It is expected that this frequency should be able to be used at a maximum effective radiated power (erp) of 200 watts (mixed polarisation), with a maximum erp of 100 watts applying in each of the horizontal and vertical planes of polarisation.

August 2005
Shrewsbury ? smaller licence

This licence is offered for a service designed to cover the town of Shrewsbury and the surrounding area, which may extend to Oswestry. Although limited overspill into parts of Telford or Whitchurch may be likely, this licence is not intended to serve these (or any other) significant population centres, and Ofcom will not approve transmission proposals which would deliver unacceptably strong signals into these locations.

Ofcom does not intend to clear a transmission site for this service, nor specify a frequency for it, until the successful applicant finalises its transmission proposals. We expect that the service will be able to utilise a maximum effective radiated power (erp) of 500 Watts mixed polarisation, with a maximum erp of 250 Watts applying in each of the horizontal and vertical planes of polarisation.

Ofcom is willing, in principle, to offer a second FM frequency for a low power relay to extend contiguous coverage to, or enhance the coverage in, the town of Oswestry. This frequency is likely to be interference limited, with a maximum erp not exceeding 25 Watts in each plane of polarisation.

September 2005
Plymouth ? smaller licence

This licence is offered for a service designed to cover the city of Plymouth and the immediately surrounding area, which may include Saltash and Torpoint and some parts of Ivybridge.

One FM frequency is being made available for this licence, and therefore coverage is not expected to be as extensive as that of the existing Plymouth licensee, Plymouth Sound, which utilises a relay at Tavistock.

Ofcom does not propose to clear a transmission site for this service, nor specify a frequency for it, until the successful applicant finalises its transmission proposals. We expect that the service will be able to utilise a maximum effective radiated power (erp) of 1 kiloWatt mixed polarisation, with a maximum erp of 500 Watts applying in each of the horizontal and vertical planes of polarisation. Whilst initially expected to be omnidirectional, the aerial pattern may need a minor restriction towards France .

If the successful applicant were to use the existing Plympton site, coverage within Plymouth would be similar to, but not as extensive as, that of the 97.0 MHz Plymouth Sound service. A site closer to the city centre may be more appropriate for this lower-powered service.

October 2005
Southend ? smaller licence

This licence is offered for a service designed to cover the town of Southend-on-Sea and the surrounding area. This may include some parts of Canvey Island, South Benfleet, Rochford, Rayleigh, and Shoeburyness. This service is not intended to serve Basildon or Wickford.

Ofcom does not intend to clear a transmission site for this service, but expects to allocate the frequency 105.1 MHz with a maximum effective radiated power (erp) of 500 Watts (mixed polarisation), with a maximum erp of 250 Watts applying in each of the horizontal and vertical planes of polarisation. The new service will operate on the second adjacent frequency channel to the existing London-wide service broadcasting on 104.9 MHz (XFM). In order to comply with recognised frequency planning criteria, the measured coverages of these two stations may have only a very limited overlap. Applicants should take account of this when defining their transmission parameters so as to protect the existing XFM coverage. The measured coverage area (MCA) of all Ofcom licensed services, including that of XFM, are expected to be available on the Ofcom website shortly.

The proposed frequency will be interference limited by the existing Solent regional service (Wave 105) and by a high power transmitter at Lille, in France, both of which operate on 105.2 MHz.

November 2005
Rotherham ? smaller licence

This licence is offered for a service designed to cover the town of Rotherham and the immediately surrounding area. Due to the limited frequency resource available for this service, it will not be possible to serve the entire metropolitan borough of Rotherham. Although limited overspill into parts of Sheffield will be likely, this licence is not designed to serve this (or any other significant) population centre, and Ofcom will not approve transmission proposals which would deliver unacceptably strong signals into the city.

Ofcom does not intend to clear a transmission site for this service, but expects to allocate the frequency 96.1 MHz with a maximum effective radiated power (erp) of 200 Watts (mixed polarisation), with a maximum erp of 100 Watts applying in each of the horizontal and vertical planes of polarisation. The new service will operate on the frequency previously used for the Rotherham relay of the existing Sheffield service (Hallam FM).

The proposed frequency will be interference limited by the existing Nottingham service (Trent FM) on 96.2 MHz. Applicants should note that, depending on the proposed transmission site, a restriction to protect the Nottingham service may be required.

December 2005
Newry ? smaller licence

This licence is offered for a service designed to cover the City of Newry, and as much of the district of Newry and Mourne as is technically possible. Coverage may therefore include Crossmaglen, Bessbrook, Hilltown, Warrenpoint, Rostrevor, and Kilkeel. This licence is not designed to serve Armagh or Banbridge, and Ofcom is unlikely to approve transmission proposals which would deliver unacceptably strong signals into these locations.

Ofcom intends to use 100.5 MHz for the main frequency for this service, although no transmission site will be cleared until the successful applicant has finalised its transmission plans. It is expected that this frequency should be able to be used at a maximum effective radiated power (erp) of 2 kW (mixed polarisation), with a maximum erp of 1 kW applying in each of the horizontal and vertical planes of polarisation.

Ofc
om is willing, in principle, to make further frequencies available to extend coverage throughout the Newry and Mourne district.

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