UK comms regulator Ofcom has proposed a list of 20 Local TV sites across the UK. These have been selected from the sites where local TV is technically possible and where there is interest in providing a service. They were selected to achieve a range of locations across the UK, and a range of scales of operation. Evidence of strong local demand was also taken into account.
The 20 sites are: Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton & Hove, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Grimsby, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth, Preston, Southampton and Swansea.
Ofcom will consult on this list later this month, along with the process of licensing both the local stations and the local TV multiplex operator.
“I am confident these new stations will provide local communities with programming which is relevant to their daily lives, will support local democracy, boost the big society and enhance local communities,” said Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
A further 24 areas identified for a future round of licensing are: Aberdeen, Ayr, Bangor, Barnstaple, Basingstoke, Bedford, Cambridge, Carlisle, Derry / Londonderry, Dundee, Guildford, Hereford, Inverness, Kidderminster, Limavady, Luton, Maidstone, Malvern, Mold, Salisbury, Sheffield, Stoke on Trent, Stratford upon Avon and York.
The Government is also taking a number of steps to create a new statutory framework for licensing that will allow for transmission infrastructure to be built and the new local TV services to start operating. Spectrum will be awarded through a competitive process to a single multiplex operator to provide the distribution for local TV. The necessary enabling legislation will be laid shortly.