Applications open for small-scale DAB multiplex licences

Posted by & filed under Licensing, Policy, Radio Industry.

Ofcom is now advertising the first 25 small-scale DAB radio multiplex licences – offering a low-cost route for local commercial, community and specialist music stations to take to the digital airwaves.

Small-scale DAB is an innovative technology that will expand local digital radio coverage and ensure listeners will be able to tune into a wide range of radio services across the UK.

In April this year, Ofcom set out how they will license ‘small-scale DAB’. Today’s initial round of 25 licence areas are spread across the UK, and include several areas where small-scale DAB multiplexes have already been operating on a trial basis.

Ofcom is also inviting applications for new Community Digital Sound Programme (‘C-DSP’) licences from groups wishing to broadcast community radio services in these small-scale multiplex areas.

Ofcom has published the relevant application forms and guidance notes on how to apply for both small-scale multiplex licences and C-DSP licences. Potential applicants will also be able to find out more at some online events in late September.

Ofcom will also be organising on-line events in late September for those intending to apply for small-scale DAB multiplex or C-DSP licences in this first licensing round.

Potential applicants for either type of licence are invited to express their interest in attending a session by sending an email to with the title ‘Event C-DSP’, ‘Event Multiplex’ or ‘Event both’ by 5pm on Wednesday 9 September. Registration details will be sent out shortly afterwards.

The second round of multiplex licences will be advertised next year and will cover areas in north-west England and north-east Wales.