The Bristol area has three long-established community stations - BCfm, Ujima Radio and Bradley Stoke Radio. They've all been participants in the Bristol Small Scale DAB Trial since 2015, but they didn't think they had the resources or experience to apply for the small scale licence for Bristol themselves.
MuxNet UK brought them together to see if there was an opportunity for collaboration, and found that they had common ambitions for digital radio. They wanted to secure their digital future and see some sort of practical support for community radio from small scale DAB. As a consortium - Bristol Digital Radio - they wanted to hold the licence and own the transmission infrastructure, but needed someone to help create and run the multiplex, and co-ordinate their application.
We proposed that they jointly apply for the licence, as a not-for-profit organisation which can distribute any surplus from selling slots on the multiplex to other (commercial) radio services back to their community stations and similar not-for-profit organisations in the area. We helped them form the right corporate vehicle for a small scale DAB application.
We worked with them to build a business plan that achieves those objectives. It also involved us helping create their application and (if successful) design, build and operate the multiplex on a day to day basis.
BDR forged links with other (newer) community and student services in the area, as well as organisations who wanted to run locally focused radio stations. They also worked with us to design the coverage area and suggest transmission sites for us to research.
We worked with the board of BDR to write their application document and identify potential commercial service providers. We provided them with a complete set of application documents to review and submit to OFCOM.
Bristol Digital Radio will control the multiplex licence and manage capacity for the community and local radio services in Bristol. They will also own all the transmission infrastructure. BDR has contracted MuxNet UK to operate the multiplex for the initial licence period, and to sell the spare capacity to other radio services wanting to cover the Bristol area. The income from this capacity sale will go to BDR to distribute.
If you'd like to explore working with us like this, then get in touch.
We've worked with groups in 11 of the small scale DAB areas advertised to date, contributing in lots of different ways.
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