Ofcom must press on with long term small scale DAB licensing

At approximately 04:20 this morning our Portsmouth DAB+ multiplex went off the air. The reason for it going off air is frustratingly the same as most of our other outages we’ve had over the past year – the internet connection at our transmission site. I’d really like to ditch our ISP (Silverlining Convergence) and invest in a traditional broadband line. However the cost of installation and then the minimum contract period is simply not financially viable considering that our licence is currently rolled-over on a month to month basis by Ofcom.

I urge Ofcom to press ahead with licensing small scale DAB multiplexes as soon as possible. With a long term licence, we can make long term investment. We can give a consistent experience for listeners. Over the last four and a half years, the 10 trial multiplex operators have demonstrated that the technology behind small scale DAB is reliable, they have technically innovated and have provided consumers with a broad spectrum of services and formats.

I know that here in Portsmouth, Ofcom will advertise a licence that anyone can apply for, there is no automatic right for Angel Radio to keep the multiplex licence. I understand that. What small scale DAB needs from Ofcom is certainty. Ofcom still haven’t published a statement response to the small scale DAB consultation that closed in October 2019, even though they said they would in early 2020.

As a charity, it would be reckless for Angel Radio to make any long term financial commitments now without having a long term licence in place. Our service providers want the same clarity too. Therefore, I urge Ofcom to press ahead with the proper licencing of small scale DAB multiplexes as a matter of urgency.

Ash Elford
Digital Development Manager, Angel Radio

Neal McClelland’s new residency on Atmosphere Radio

Dance station Atmosphere Radio is expanding its weekend line-up with Northern Ireland-based DJ Neal McClelland joining the line-up. Neal’s Nocturnal show can already be heard on Cool FM in Northern Ireland, but will now also be available across the South Coast of England every Friday night.

Neal will debut on Atmosphere Radio this Friday night and he’s really looking forward to it. “Atmosphere is the perfect home for my choice of the latest dance and world exclusives. I’m ready to spread the love to a wider audience.”

Programme Director Steve Simms said “Neal’s energy, passion and knowledge of the music really cuts through and his contact book is hard to rival. His show will make an excellent addition to our schedule and we can’t wait to get him on board”.

Managing Director Robbie Harrison said “Brighton, Portsmouth and the surrounding area already have a thriving dance scene and Neal’s show fits in perfectly.”

Nocturnal with Neal McClelland can be heard every Friday night at 10pm on Atmosphere Radio, on DAB from Brighton to Portsmouth and online on the Atmosphere Radio app, smart speakers and the website Atmosphere.Radio