Independent National Radio
Independent National Radio is the official term for the three national commercial radio stations broadcasting on analogue radio in the United Kingdom. The two stations broadcasting on AM were allocated frequencies previously used by BBC Radio 3 (to be used by INR2) and BBC Radio 1 (to be used by INR3).
The stations came about following the Broadcasting Act 1990 which allowed for the launch of independent national radio (INR) stations in the United Kingdom. The Radio Authority was mandated to award three INR licences. The FM licence (INR1) had to be for a 'non-pop' station and one (INR3) had to be for a predominantly speech-based service. The remaining licence (INR2) was to be open to 'all-comers'. The licences were to be awarded to the highest cash bidder, providing that the applicant met criteria set down in the Broadcasting Act.
INR stations on air
- Classic FM - 99.9 to 101.9 MHz, first air date 7 September 1992, owned by Global Radio.
- Absolute Radio - 1215 kHz mediumwave in most areas, first air date 30 April 1993 as Virgin 1215, owned by Bauer Radio.
- Talksport - 1053 kHz and 1089 kHz in most areas, first air date 14 February 1995 as Talk Radio UK, owned by Wireless Group.
All three stations are also available nationally on DAB on the Digital One multiplex as well as on digital TV and online.
Plans for a fourth station, using 225kHz long wave, were mooted in 1996 but were abandoned by the Radio Authority after consultation with the radio industry which found that there was no interest in launching a station on that frequency due to the costs involved, especially to cover all of the country given that the frequency would only provide partial-UK coverage. The frequency had originally been allocated to the BBC but it had never been used.
- "Broadcasting Act 1990". London: HMSO. Archived from the original on 28 June 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
- "Fact Sheet 3: The Radio Authority: Its licences and licensing procedures". London: Radio Authority. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2011.