BEIS Committee report welcomes proposal for automatic renewal of national DAB licences

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee has agreed with the Government’s legislative change that would allow the UK’s two national commercial DAB multiplex licences to be renewed automatically, according to a report (here) published today (Friday 19 March 2022).

The Committee was asked to scrutinise the Government’s proposals for a Legislative Reform Order (LRO) that would allow the automatic renewal of the licences of both Digital One and Sound Digital.

The Committee agreed with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) that automatically renewing the licences would save Ofcom a “burden” of “administrative inconvenience” and costs, and that the two licence holders, Digital One Ltd and Sound Digital Ltd, would be saved from a competitive bidding process which "could risk causing significant disruption to commercial radio."

Darren Jones MP, Chair of the BEIS Committee, said: “We welcome this proposal from DCMS as it will doubtless save digital radio stations, the licensees and Ofcom officials the burdensome process of going through a competitive tender process.”