Station Radio Caroline
Current licence area Suffolk and northern parts of Essex
Extended licence area Suffolk, northern parts of Essex, and parts of Kent and East Sussex
Reasons for agreeing to the extension:
Increase in licensed area: A power increase was AGREED to combat man made noise and interference in the existing coverage area, and to extend coverage to adjoining areas. While the subsequent increase in the licensed area was considered to be significant, the decision-maker deemed there to be exceptional circumstances in order to approve this request.
Exceptional circumstances: Ofcom considered that there were ‘exceptional circumstances’ to justify an increase that would be reasonably considered to be significant. Since the award of this AM licence in 2018, the service has experienced high levels of background noise and interference, particularly in urban areas. The licensee also serves a ‘community of interest’ as opposed to a defined geographic community meaning the service is positioned to be accessible to the community of interest in the proposed extended areas.
There is an affinity between the existing and extended coverage area as the sea path from the existing transmitter at Orford means that the service is already receivable in parts of the extended coverage area, although existing reception is currently poor. Furthermore, the studio location means that the station attracts and engages volunteers from both the existing and extended coverage areas. The power increase will therefore improve signal in the extended coverage area, where some of the station’s volunteers live and work.
The applicant cited demand from its online audience base for access to the service via analogue. The power increase will therefore contribute to fulfilling this demand and broaden choice in how the community of interest in the extended area access the service.
The licensee set out their approach to how it would raise awareness of the improved coverage in the extended areas
The licensee provided plans of how it would further engage audiences in the extended areas noting that the social gain prospects would be greatly enhanced in Kent, Essex and elsewhere as a consequence of the proposed extended coverage.
Specifically, the extended coverage would result in their iconic and historically important Radioship becoming part of the licensed area. This will enable the use of this museum space to serve as an educational tool in offshore radio, and an additional education and training resource for potential volunteer radio presenters and technicians, which alongside the studio facilities in Kent will provide additional social gain capabilities.
No additional frequency resource is required to extend the service to the community of interest in the extended area.”
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/manage-your-licence/radio-broadcast-licensing/monthly-updates/radio-broadcast-update-july-2021 (3 August 2021) via
Dr Hansjoerg Biener (2021-08-09)