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Ofcom invites radio applications for London

Ofcom is inviting applications by October 25th from community groups wanting to operate a radio station within the M25.

Services can operate on either FM or AM throughout the area as no areas are excluded on the basis of frequency availability.

The regulator says: “We offer applicants guidance on the availability of suitable frequencies in different parts of the area, explain the importance of selecting an appropriate transmission site, provide details of the funding restrictions which apply to community radio services, and set out how we will assess applications.”

Ofcom regards the whole of London and the area within the M25 as ‘amber’, having identified very few suitable FM frequencies, each of which has become available as a result of a community service ceasing broadcasts. These are:

• 101.4 MHz: formerly used in Hammersmith (west London), but usable for some locations in west and central London
• 94.0 MHz: formerly used in the West Ham area (east London), and likely to be usable only in this area
• 96.5MHz: formerly used in Gants Hill, Ilford (east London), and likely to be usable only in this area
• 92.2 MHz: only usable at some locations in east London.

AM frequencies may also be available for community radio services within this region – all areas are classified as ‘green’ for AM frequency availability.

And as there are no local commercial radio services in London and the area within the M25 with an MCA population of 150,000 adults or fewer, any community radio station licensed in this area is likely to be allowed to take 50% of its relevant income from the sale of on-air advertising and sponsorship in addition to its fixed revenue

The closing-date for receipt of applications is 5 pm on Tuesday 25 October 2016 and a non-refundable fee of £600 will be payable for each application submitted.

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