OFCOM Spectrum Regulations

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Restricted Service Licenses

A New Approach

Bob Houlston G4PVB reports on a recent statement by OFCOM, in regard to its new approach to licensing and spectrum rules, which will result in a range of ‘restricted’ radio services being able to take to the airwaves. The statement reads (in part): “Our new flexible approach means restricted radio services – which typically cover small areas and can include hospital radio, drive-in movie soundtracks and services for events – will find it easier to access the spectrum they need in order to broadcast. These restricted services are mainly broadcast in the AM and FM broadcasting bands, but we haven’t always had sufficient frequencies available to meet demand. But by making changes to our spectrum planning, we can identify small gaps in spectrum use – known as ‘limited coverage spectrum’. Because this spectrum only enables limited coverage, it is not suitable for national, local and community radio broadcasts, but is particularly suited for restricted services which only need to be broadcast nearby. We have also simplified our licensing process to make it easier for these smaller services to get the licences they need to broadcast. Before today’s announcement, a number of services took part in a trial to see how the new process would work. One of these was Stoke Mandeville Hospital Radio (SMHR), based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. As part of the trial, the station was able to broadcast on an FM frequency which has previously been unavailable to it.” You can access the full story at the URL below.

(Source: OFCOM, via Bob Houlston G4PVB RU Volunteer Correspondent)

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