Amongst all the excitement about new (and old) releases;
..I somehow forgot to mention that Phonic FM is part of a group that applied for (and has now been granted) a licence to broadcast on SSBAB+ (small scale digital audio broadcasting plus). Our partners are Radio Exe, Riviera FM ( who broadcast to Torbay), Ashley Jeary (currently the main anchor on Radio Exe) and Lisa England who works out of Liverpool. It's early days, and we're still at the stage of finalising the exact area that we're going to broadcast to, though it should raise the potential audience to somewhere in excess of 300,000. It's an exciting prospect, but that means a lot of hard work by the Board (of which I'm Chair), and lots of decisions to make, as well as fundamental thinks like getting Ofcom (our regulator) to finally agree the fine detail of the area that we're going to cover.
The stations will be broadcast from a multiplex that should be able to accommodate 25 stations. It's evident from the level of interest that we're already had that not all the stations are going to be broadcasting out of Exeter, but there are three other slots for holders of C-DSP licenses (basically small scale broadcasters which/who fulfil certain criteria) that will provide uniquely local services. The main question that I've had to try and answer so far is "When will you be on-air?". It's probably the most uncertain thing about the whole undertaking, and it may be dangerous to write here a potential launch date, however I'll boldly suggest the start of March 2022 - whilst reserving the write to follow up this blog with an list of excuses as to why we're no longer going to adhere to that date!
Questions already raised by Phonic listeners include:
1.Will you continue to broadcast on FM?
Put simply the answer is 'yes'. We're aware that a large number of people still listen on FM frequencies, and although all new cars now have DAB radios fitted as standard ( and most have DAB+) we still have a lot of listeners who use FM (and prefer the sound to that of DAB)
2. Will you continue to be a 'no adverts - no playlist staion?'
Again the answer is 'yes'. We will be incurring higher charges broadcasting on DAB+, but we're hoping to offset this by running more events that raise money for the station, and although nothing has been set in stone we shall be looking for possible sponsors for individual shows. More news on this as we move towards 'on-air' time.
3. I live in Thorverton, will I be able to pick up your DAB+ signal?
We're still in discussion with Ofcom, and our chosen installers about aerial sites, so the area we aim to cover isn't set in stone. How far we reach with the signals will be completely dependent on a range of issues that at the moment we're still resolving. Expect a press release from the station as soon as issues like this have been resolved.
In the meantime, and awsre that there will be other questions I'd suggest that you direct them at me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll try to answer them as soon as possible.