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Ofcom asks for dibs on Olympic DAB stations

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Ofcom is asking anyone interested in running a local DAB station during the Olympics to let it know, so it can judge the level of interest before allocating frequencies.

The request for "preliminary expressions of interest" is aimed at anyone interested in running a digital station for the duration of the 2012 event, with coverage of the capital. Ofcom seems to think there'll be a lot of interest in such temporary DAB stations, though we're not convinced.

There certainly won't be room for much in the way of FM transmission - what with all the cameras, microphones, security and management systems filling the airwaves.

Ofcom is holding on to great chunks of the radio spectrum for the event - bidders for the Digital Dividend will have to wait until the Paralympics are over before they can use their purchased frequencies as Ofcom anticipates unprecedented demand.

So with FM (and AM) out of the question it's going to have to be DAB, and Ofcom would like to know of anyone planning to run broadcasts in different languages, or tourist-specific information, for all those visiting sports enthusiasts who happen to have brought a DAB radio along with them.

Not that the regulator is making any promises - right now it's judging interest but still expecting to leave some applicants disappointed. We're not sure exactly who'll be clamouring to run a DAB service for the event, but once we know we'll be sure to pass on the details. ®

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