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UK Regulator Has Its Say Before AM Transmitters Can Go Dark

Ofcom weighs in on Absolute Radio's plans to reduce medium wave coverage across the UK

LONDON — While some U.S. broadcasters lament how strict our own FCC is on the broadcast rules, many other countries have far more involved rules and procedures. For example, if you were shutting down an AM station here temporarily, you would need to obtain an STA from the commission; if you were shutting down permanently, you would do so and turn your license in.

It’s a bit different in the UK though, where the regulator, Ofcom, has a lot more to say about the way things are done. Absolute Radio is seeking to reduce its medium wave coverage across the UK, from 90% to 85%, and Ofcom has published a consultation on the proposed variation to Absolute Radio’s national analog radio licenses, according to The program would continue to be available to listeners in the affected areas via DAB, via television on the Freeview, Sky and Virgin Media platforms, and via the internet.

“We are now seeking views from interested or affected parties which must be submitted by Feb. 26, 2018. We will take all responses into account before reaching a final decision,” writes Ofcom.