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The Christian Broadcasting Council of the United Kingdom (CBC) wishes to give our views regarding Ofcom's invitation to comment on the proposal by Digital One to extend their national DAB multiplex to cover Northern Ireland. We give below our answers to the questions posed by Ofcom. We give below our answers to Ofcom's questions.

Q1. Do you think that allowing Digital One to extend the coverage area of its national radio multiplex licence to include Northern Ireland would be calculated to maintain or promote the development of digital sound broadcasting in the UK otherwise than by satellite? Please explain the reasons for your view.
We believe that the extension to Northern Ireland of the Digital One multiplex will increase the range of services available to the DAB radio listener. As CBC we would be pleased to see an increase in the range of radio services with a Christian ethos such as Premier Christian Radio.

Q2. Do you think that Digital One's proposals for providing coverage of Northern Ireland are satisfactory? Please explain the reasons for your view.
Yes we do.

Q3. Do you consider that Digital One has the ability to maintain its national radio multiplex service if its request is granted? Please explain the reasons for your view.
Digital One appears to have been very careful to-date in balancing the coverage of its multiplex in England, Scotland and Wales with the economic cost of providing this coverage to its programme service providers. We thus believe that it will be able to maintain the service.

Q4. (For programme service providers on the national radio multiplex, and the holder of the Northern Ireland local radio multiplex licence and its service providers only) Do you consider that there are sufficient safeguards in place to protect your rights and interests in the event that Digital One is permitted to extend coverage to include Northern Ireland?
Not Applicable as we are not a programme service provider.

Q5. Do you consider that there any other grounds on which Ofcom should approve, or not approve, the request from Digital One? Please explain the reasons for your view.
We consider the extension of the service allows Northern Ireland to have the same range of national services as the rest of the United Kingdom plus it allows programme providers, who are currently have some of their stations on the local Northern Ireland multiplex, to rearrange their national radio services so that they can offer another of their programme services on the local multiplex thus further increasing the choice of radio stations for Northern Ireland listeners.

We hope that our comments are of help to Ofcom in their decisions with regard to this matter.

Yours truly,

J Peter Wilson 
Consultant to CBC on Broadcasting Regulation

Mrs Olave Snelling 
Chairman of the CBC Executive Council

10 March 2013

The Christian Broadcasting Council, known as CBC, was founded in 1983:

  • To stimulate and promote the knowledge of the Christian faith and the propagation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the broadcasting media in the United Kingdom.
  • To encourage the highest standards of Christian media communication.
  • To support and develop the knowledge and standards of all those involved in broadcasting.
  • To bring together in fellowship those working in broadcasting and those who support the vision of CBC, under girding and encouraging them in their spiritual lives.