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Ofcom prepares for second phase of local TV licensing

Ofcom today invites expressions of interest to offer local TV services in 30 locations across the UK, ahead of a second phase of licensing.

Earlier this month, Ofcom announced that it had awarded 19 licences in the first phase, with Preston concluding the process. This follows duties given to Ofcom by Parliament to license local TV. It is hoped that some channels in the first phase may be on air before the end of 2013.

Ofcom is now inviting prospective applicants to submit expressions of interest for new local TV channels in 30 locations across the country.

Local TV channels will broadcast via a specific ‘multiplex’ which has a discrete amount of spectrum reserved for local TV broadcasting on digital terrestrial TV (DTT).

Phase 2 locations

The multiplex operator Comux, responsible for building and maintaining the technical infrastructure required to broadcast the local TV channels, has proposed 28 new locations where coverage is technically possible.

Ofcom is seeking expressions of interest from potential applicants in these 28 new locations, as well as for Swansea and Plymouth, which were advertised in the first round but received no applications.

The 30 locations are:

Aberdeen Dundee Mold
Ayr Guildford Plymouth
Bangor Hereford Reading
Barnstaple Inverness Salisbury
Basingstoke Kidderminster Scarborough
Bedford Limavady Stoke on Trent
Bromsgrove Luton Stratford upon Avon
Cambridge Maidstone Swansea
Carlisle Malvern Tonbridge
Derry/Londonderry Middlesbrough York

The closing date for expressions of interest is 24 April 2013. Ofcom will consider all responses and publish further details on any future licensing round later this year. It is possible that there may be channels in phase two locations on air by the end of 2014.

Further details on submitting an expression of interest can be found here.

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