Insights Ofcom continues its roll-out of small-scale DAB


Ofcom explains that small-scale DAB is an innovative technology that provides a low-cost way for local commercial, community and specialist music services to take to the digital airwaves. On 1 June 2021, Ofcom now announced:

  • five further multiplex licences from the first round of awards;
  • multiplex licences for 22 areas in north west England and north east Wales in a second round of awards; and
  • the list of locations for a third round of licence awards later in 2021.

Round One awards

Following a competitive process, where each applicant was judged against specific criteria, multiplex licences have been awarded for the following areas:

  • Basingstoke: UK DAB Networks Limited;
  • Clevedon, Avonmouth & Filton: Severnside Digital Radio CIC;
  • Dudley & Stourbridge: DigiMux Limited;
  • East Bristol: Bristol Digital Radio CIC; and
  • Newcastle & Gateshead: Tyneside Community Digital CIC.

Decisions for awards in the remaining six areas advertised in round one will be announced shortly.

Round Two now open for applications

All applicants intending to apply for a multiplex licence in one of the 22 areas in north west England and north east Wales should refer to Ofcom’s updated application forms and guidance notes. Applications must be submitted to Ofcom by 1 September 2021.

Round Three: pre-announcement of areas

Multiplex licences will be advertised in the following 25 licence areas as part of a third round of awards, likely to begin towards the end of this year: Bedford; Belfast & Lisburn; Coventry; Darlington & Bishop Auckland; Dundee; East Hull; Leicester; Lincoln; Llandudno & Betws-y-Coed; Middlesbrough & Redcar; Milton Keynes; North Aberdeen; Nottingham; Oxford; Rutland & Stamford; Shaftesbury & Blandford Forum; South Aberdeen; Swansea; Swindon; Taunton; Warminster, Devizes & Trowbridge; West Hull; Wetherby & Harrogate; York; and Yorkshire Coast.

For further information, click here.