In March of this year OFCOM (The Office For Communications) announced that they would be inviting applications for organisations to step forward to take control of a brand new Digital Radio (DAB) service for the Taunton Deane Area (Also known as a Small Scale DAB Multiplex)
As part of a UK Wide Programme, these new Digital Radio (DAB) services, have been designed to give listeners a wider choice of content within a localised area, whilst also being managed and led predominately by Community Radio providers.
2021 saw the first round of applications invited, and now as the opportunity has reached the South West. A small consortium led by The Tone Community Media Group CIC, who operate ToneFM in Taunton have decided to take the plunge and bid to become the operator for the service in the Taunton Deane area.
The new service will allow ToneFM, amongst other local Community Radio Stations to add a digital service to their outputs. It will also create the chance for other local Community Groups to also gain access to what will become a brand new Digital Radio (DAB) service for the area by taking on their own channels.
The Director of The Tone Community Media Group CIC, and Station Director of ToneFM, Patch Jobson highlights, the key to succeeding in the application however is all about collaboration;
“To say we are excited about applying to host the new service would be an understatement. Not only will this provide a better quality service for our listeners, but it will create many more options for organisations to communicate with a much wider audience.
We’re going to work closely with our colleagues at AppleFM and SedgemoorFM amongst others, and we would love to hear from any other community group, or academic faculty who may be interested in sharing their voice with our community via this new service.
If successful, and once the licence is granted, the new Digital Radio (DAB) service is hoped to be up and running by no later than 2o24.