Somerset

Radio station punished after transmitter level boost

Radio microphone generic
Image caption More FM is known locally as Total Star

A radio station in Somerset will have its licence cut by a year for illegally boosting its transmitter levels, the broadcast watchdog Ofcom has ruled.

More FM boosted its transmitter levels 10 times higher than it was allowed to for a period of two months.

This resulted in the station being heard outside its broadcast area of West Somerset and Bridgwater into Weston-super-Mare and Taunton.

The ruling means the station's licence will expire on 3 July 2012.

Less paperwork

Although the station is called More FM, and is owned by More FM Ltd, it is known locally as Total Star.

The report by Ofcom also highlighted "the overall failure of the licensee to maintain control of its service" and how the increased transmitter levels could have posed a public safety risk.

Because of this and the station's "unsatisfactory record of compliance" the licence will be re-advertised without implementing a fast-track procedure.

This process normally enables the current licence-holder the opportunity to renew its contract with less paperwork should no other competitors come forward to bid for the licence.

The full re-advertisement will be made on 2 August with a deadline of 1 December 2011.

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