8/99 12 January 1999


The Radio Authority has today (12 January) imposed a fine of 1,000 each on Severn Sound (Gloucester & Cheltenham), Ram FM (Derby) and GWR FM (Swindon & West Wiltshire) for signal over-deviation.

The Authority regards compliance with technical licence conditions as an absolute requirement because breaches such as signal over-deviation can cause interference to other radio stations and have serious implications for other users of the spectrum such as air navigational services. The Authority is satisfied however that none of these occurrences was a result of a deliberate action on the part of the stations concerned, or their transmission providers.

Licensees must ensure that an effective system of monitoring is applied to prevent over-deviation occurring, whether due to equipment failure or incorrect adjustment. The Authority will be directing all stations to look closely at their procedures to control deviation levels.

Commenting on the matter, Mark Thomas, Head of Engineering at the Authority said,

"These occurrences were clearly due to error or omission. The stations and the transmission provider have a good record of compliance. However, these and previous similar cases highlight the need for licensees and their contractors to apply appropriate systems and procedures of monitoring and control of transmissions, including FM deviation".




1. The Radio Authority can request a broadcast apology or correction, issue a formal warning, or impose a penalty which can include a fine or the shortening or revocation of a licence. Financial penalties are not kept by the Radio Authority but are passed to the Treasury's Consolidated Funds.

2. The Radio Authority is responsible for licensing and regulating Independent Radio in accordance with the statutory requirements of the Broadcasting Acts 1990 and 1996. It plans frequencies, awards licences, regulates programming and advertising, and plays an active role in the discussion and formulation of policies which affect the Independent Radio industry and its listeners.