Ofcom to advertise Channel Islands DAB multiplex

Ofcom is to advertise a new local radio digital multiplex licence for the Channel Isles in the first quarter of 2019.

The regulator says it will also extend the licences of Island FM Ltd in Guernsey licence, and Channel Radio Ltd for in Jersey for one year whilst it carries out the task.

The two stations, owned by Tindle, have submitted their licence renewal applications but consideration of them will be postponed under s104A (8) of the Broadcasting Act 1990.

Currently, the only DAB services available in the Channel Isles are national BBC stations Radios 1 to 5 Live, 1Xtra, 4 Extra, 5 Live Sports Extra, 6 Music, Asian Network and World Service.

Tindle CI Broadcasting has confirmed to RadioToday that it will be teaming up with Folder Media to apply for the multiplex.

James Keen, Pan Island Station Director for Channel 103 and Island FM said: “We welcome today’s announcement that Ofcom will be advertising a local radio multiplex for the Channel Islands. With this additional multiplex, there is finally a route to digital for the islands’ local services as welll as room for either more radio stations or higher quality existing stations.”

Gregory Watson, Managing Director at Folder Media, added: “We’re excited to be teaming up with the owners of Channel 103 and Island FM to apply for this multiplex – finally one of the last remaining areas of DAB ‘white space’ in the British Isles will be covered.

“Whilst national BBC radio stations like BBC Radio 4 have been available to the Channel Islands on digital radio for a number of years, this will be the first opportunity that listeners to local radio will be able to hear their favourite station on digital radio.”

Local services provided by the BBC and Tindle are FM only.

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  1. Michael V says

    That’s great that the area is getting a DAB mux, but…
    ‘One of the last remaining areas of DAB ‘white space’ in the British Isles.’

    There’s still no DAB coverage from any Multiplex covering Mid Wales or Monmouthshire in Wales. Those two areas are rather large. Muxco has held the local licence for Powys / Mid-Wales for quite some years & it’s very disappointing they have not even started with coverage.

    1. mb23 says

      Nobody else wanted that Mid & West Wales licence, it’s hugely unprofitable if it’s fully built out due to the terrain. For now Ofcom are grateful that a commercial operator is prepared to cover Pembrokeshire & Carmarthenshire. The rest of the transmitters will have to be funded by the licence fee in the event of a switchover.

  2. j bIRKETT says

    BBC Jersey and Guernsey is still being offered on Medium Wave, as well as
    on FM. French DAB is due to be installed in Normandy and Brittany in the near future, which will be receivable in parts of the Channel Islands.

  3. Pat says

    Postcode lottery like with many other things.It’s all about money today-like freeview light with many fewer channels.The whole country should be able to have the same service (and almost certainly would have done had the digital technology come in in say the 70’s when commercial radio wasn’t ALL about profit either).

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