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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