UK Parliament Officially Provisions Small-Scale DAB

Believed to be the first private members’ broadcasting bill to receive Royal Assent May 4, 2017

LONDON — The Private Members’ Small-Scale DAB Bill received Royal Assent to pass into law as an Act of Parliament on April 27, thereby providing the means for a huge expansion of local and community stations on DAB, marking an historic day for UK radio.

The bill, officially known as the Broadcasting (Radio Multiplex Services) Bill 2016-17, is believed to be the first private members’ broadcasting bill to receive Royal Assent, and makes provision for the regulation of small-scale DAB multiplex services. Industry observers predict this could prompt an increase of over 1000 new commercial and community stations across the UK.

The Bill was introduced into Parliament by Kevin Foster MP who strongly supported the need for ultra-local commercial and community radio stations to have a path to DAB in a digital age. Completing all the parliamentary stages in both Houses, the Bill received its final reading in the Lords on March 21st.

“I am delighted that with Royal Assent today the Bill has become law, marking an exciting new era ahead for digital radio at a local level,” said Foster. “It being passed in Norman French is perhaps a symbol of how it will allow the tradition of excellence in British local radio to continue and thrive on this most modern of platforms. I cannot wait to hearing the new listening choices this bill will bring to digital radio listeners across the country.’

The small-scale DAB approach was developed and pioneered by Ofcom engineer Rashid Mustapha and the first trial was launched in Brighton by Daniel Nathan of Brighton’s Juice 107.2.

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