Ofcom changes plans for North Lancashire and Cumbria DAB

Three digital radio multiplexes could now be created to cover Morecambe Bay, north and west Cumbria and south west Scotland, as Ofcom revises its plans for DAB in the region.

The regulator announced last month that it would advertise two new multiplexes, with the southern one expected to mirror the coverage area of Heart North Lancashire (formerly The Bay) and the northern one broadcasting to the area served by CFM.

However, Ofcom says that following feedback from stakeholders it has reconsidered its approach.

Instead of advertising two new local radio multiplex licences, Ofcom will instead advertise the availability of three DAB frequency-blocks which can be used (on their own, or in different combinations) to provide DAB coverage across part, or the whole, of the area.

The regulator said in an update: “It will be up to applicants to decide which frequency-block(s) they wish to use to achieve their desired coverage for their proposed programme service providers. Ofcom will then award a local radio multiplex licence, or licences (up to a maximum of three) having regard to the criteria in section 51 of the Broadcasting Act 1996, and the available spectrum. We hope to publish the advertisement shortly.”

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  1. Michael V says

    Well that makes sense more. Give South West Scotland it’s own then Cumbria the two it may need.

  2. Andrew Hayward says

    When will Ofcom force Arqiva to compete the coverage of all Wiltshire, so long overdue considering the frequency change and editorial boundary change.

  3. Willie Bone says

    Although not on the official coverage map, CFM can be heard in and around Dumfries and heading around 15 miles north from Dumfries on the A76. That’s all within West Sound FM’s primary marketing area!
    The third multiplex could be zoned in the borders area to include CFM, BBC Radio Cumbria, BBC Radio Scotland (with its Dumfries & Galloway output) and Dumfries based community station Alive Radio! In that case, I hope Bauer snaps up the border multiplex..

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