Ofcom Announces Grassroots DAB Trial Program in UK

The UK’s Office of Communications (Ofcom) has announced trials of a new technology that may provide small radio stations across the UK with an affordable way to broadcast via digital radio
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LONDON�The UK�s Office of Communications (Ofcom) has announced trials of a new technology that may provide small radio stations across the UK with an affordable way to broadcast via digital radio. �If the trials are successful, U.K. radio listeners could benefit from more local and community radio stations via DAB.

Currently, the cost of broadcasting via DAB is beyond the reach of many small radio stations; however, a new approach, pioneered by Ofcom engineer Rashid Mustapha, means that small scale radio stations could start broadcasting on DAB radio for a fraction of current costs.

Mustapha was granted a test licence and installed a low power digital radio transmitter on a Brighton roof-top. �The test used a small transmitter and freely-available software code from opendigitalradio.org running on a Linux computer.� It successfully delivered a reliable, high quality digital radio broadcast--the test transmission audio program was a track of squawking seagulls.� �The first test of the small scale DAB concept was from the roof of the tallest building in East Sussex. �Despite an unexpected delay to the start of the experiment while waiting for young Peregrine falcons to fly from their nest, the technology provided very encouraging results,� said Mustapha.� �The trials being announced today are the next step in potentially helping hundreds of small stations to start broadcasting on digital radio.�

Each trial will allow new digital radio services to broadcast to a local area and will help explore ways that groups of radio stations can work together.� Ofcom is today invitingapplications�to take part in the trials, which are expected to run for nine months. The deadline for applications is 3 p.m. on April 7,�2015.

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