Ofcom prepares phase 2 local TV licensing

Ofcom has invited expressions of interest to offer local TV services in 30 further UK locations, ahead of a second phase of licensing. Ofcom has awarded 19 licences in the first phase and it is hoped that some channels in the first phase may be on air before the end of the year.

The regulator is now inviting prospective applicants to submit expressions of interest for new local TV channels in 30 locations across the country.

Local TV channels will broadcast via a specific ‘multiplex’ which has a discrete amount of spectrum reserved for local TV broadcasting on digital terrestrial TV (DTT).

The multiplex operator Comux, responsible for building and maintaining the technical infrastructure required to broadcast the local TV channels, has proposed 28 new locations where coverage is technically possible.

Ofcom is seeking expressions of interest from potential applicants in these 28 new locations, as well as for Swansea and Plymouth, which were advertised in the first round but received no applications.

The 30 locations are: Aberdeen, Dundee, Mold, Ayr, Guildford, Plymouth, Bangor, Hereford, Reading, Barnstaple, Inverness, Salisbury, Basingstoke, Kidderminster, Scarborough, Bedford, Limavady, Stoke on Trent, Bromsgrove, Luton, Stratford upon Avon, Cambridge, Maidstone, Swansea, Carlisle, Malvern, Tonbridge, Derry/Londonderry, Middlesbrough and York

The closing date for registering interest is April 24th. Ofcom will consider all responses and publish further details on any future licensing round later this year. It is possible that there may be channels in phase two locations on air by the end of 2014.

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