RSL Frequency Allocation
On 12 May we received a message from a regular Client that he had been successful in his application for an RSL for Ramadan for 18 June to 16 July and we have under 8 weeks to make all the necessary arrangements to source equipment, agree terms with the site owner, install studios and transmission and get him on air.
On the same day we received a message from another equally-valued regular Client that he had been unsuccessful in his application for a 1-day RSL for a high-profile Regatta on 20 June at an International Olympic Rowing Course.
These two events of an entirely different nature and duration were placed in mutual opposition by Ofcom because the applied transmission sites are located just 3,5km apart.
Of course, they cannot possibly use the same frequency at that physical separation.
They could use 87.7 and 87.9 - or any other combination between 87.6 and 88.1 - we know - it works in practice - but Ofcom won't allow it because of poor receiver selectivity.
What is more relevant is that Ofcom now is declining to look for or even consider accepting suggestions for any other of the 190-odd possible frequencies that could be used for two short-term low-power applications in the high-profile and high-income Thames Valley - and indeed in many other areas of the UK.
To add insult to injury, the "Rejection Letter" is written in a curt impersonal form from a "team" - with no proper explanation - no named officer giving the decision - and no signature.
This is a very bad example of the standards expected in business correspondence.
Finally - the unsuccessful Applicant believes he will not receive back his £400 Application Fee - even though Ofcom has refused to offer a Licence
I suggest that this is a despicable situation which cannot be allowed to continue.
I have asked Ofcom what it is prepared to do to put things right.
Lessons learned. Don't bother to apply for an RSL licence.
In 2015, with the exception of the likes of Ramadan, is it really worthwhile broadcasting for 28 days on FM? By the time anyone notices you're on air, you're two weeks into the broadcast and by the time you gain any momentum with listening audiences, it's time to close down. The cost of the exercise for 28 days of FM broadcasting probably equates to being able to broadcast online 24/7 for a year or more.
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