Option for more community licences in Midlands

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Gary Edwards
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Option for more community licences in Midlands

Post by Gary Edwards » Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:23 pm

Ofcom have made an 'Invitation of applications for community radio licences in areas overlapping with existing services'

http://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/p ... nity-radio

Birmingham and Sandwell, and Wolverhampton and Dudley are on the list.

If I have read it correctly, you can suggest a transmitter site, frequency and 25 W in each plane is a rough guide, not a maximum.

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Gary Edwards
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Re: Option for more community licences in Midlands

Post by Gary Edwards » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:09 pm

Think we missed the list of applicants...

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/manage-your-li ... ping-areas

There's a couple in Dudley and a few in Brum...

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Steve Marshall
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Re: Option for more community licences in Midlands

Post by Steve Marshall » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:22 pm

All look very exciting .....

I wonder how many will be rejected?
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Re: Option for more community licences in Midlands

Post by chillertondown » Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:18 pm

There's a lot of people applying in the previous round and most people are getting licences. Ofcom also are giving out licences without worrying about their "opportunity cost".

Does this mean that this next round is going to see a lot of very happy people as Ofcom start putting community stations in any spare channel. Previously they tried to squeeze them in as tightly as they could, especially the first "phase 1" applications.

I can think of a community station around here that had many RSL's very happily on a very clear frequency using exactly the same ERP, height, aerial, everything as they have now. I think it was 95.1 or something. When they actually got the license they got put on something like 102.2 which get loads of interference. They have asked for years to move to their old RSL frequency and have been told "opportunity cost" because that frequency is clear for miles then they wouldn't want to sterilise it just with a community in case they want to run another round of commercial licences - the 95.1 RSL frequency is suitable for a 500W small regional on a big site, not just a 25W community on a little site.

Sorry if this is perhaps too much for this forum - these are the sort of questions I have asked on another forum (DS) and don't seem to get sensible replies. Everyone on this forum looks perhaps a little more technically minded to give me some educated opinions/guesses.

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Re: Option for more community licences in Midlands

Post by Steve Marshall » Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:52 pm

I think the value of FM spectrum these days has gone down considerably, and that is probably why more people are getting a license now. Ofcom are only there to make money for the government, and i think they are relaxing their rules a little and just letting more stations come on air, come what may, type of thing, so they can keep revenue coming into the coffers.

Yes, in the first round they deliberately gave out crap frequencies for no reason, other than to maybe hamper community stations, after all what other reason is there for some of the awful allocations? I wouldn't be at all surprised to see community stations pop up all over the place, after all why not, the BBC aren't going to use anymore or provide anything new, all new transmitters from the big boys will just have infill content on them, nothing new.

Another argument that has historically been used by the regulator, is there are no frequencies available. We all know this has always been utter rubbish, there have always been plenty of free channels that could have been used, after all the pirates seem to find them just fine. Yes granted there might be congestion in London, but London is maybe a bit of a one off, the rest of the UK has loads of free space.

As i say, with more people streaming their content these days, FM radio is no longer as valuable as it once was. There is also DAB these days too, so plenty of other platforms to get the content you want to listen to.
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Re: Option for more community licences in Midlands

Post by chillertondown » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:26 am

I think for a long time (forever) they have deliberately given out rubbish frequencies to community stations. There is an argument for this that by giving the worst frequency that just meets the thresholds then it keeps the "good" frequencies clear for any potential future commercial licensing round.

Now perhaps they have said digital is the future then it is clear there are going to be no more commercial licensing round so all these good frequencies can start to be given out to the community ones and then the excuse of "no frequencies available" doesn't exist any more. Often I think they said that when there was nothing other than a really clear regional frequency that could be used for another Capital, and they didn't want to spoil it with a relatively low powered community station.

I think the real value of FM comes from the over-40 audience, who aren't into internet radio. RAJAR show this clearly that the younger the listener is the more likely they are to listen online.

Maybe some of the community stations just don't get the audience for their FM license any more and there could be an argument for them to go online only and give up their FM license. Perhaps it should become more like the commercial stations in that when a license comes up for renewal then other groups can competitively bid for the frequency and Ofcom will decide who who should get it.

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Re: Option for more community licences in Midlands

Post by Gary Edwards » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:07 pm

Just awarded one in Coventry...

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/la ... o-licences

The applications in Brum and the black country were "rejected due to there being no suitable FM frequency available"

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