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Independent National Radio

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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).

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  • ✪ National Volunteer Week - ethnic community radio stations


It’s exactly 20 years since 3zzz started broadcasting in Melbourne. From humble beginnings in 1989, the station has developed from strength to strength. 3zzz is now the biggest multilingual radio station in Australia. It’s a community radio station, so it’s about different ethnic communities making radio for themselves, and having a voice for their own communities. Some 400 000 listeners tune in every week, with programs broadcast in more than 60 languages. 3zzz provides essential information to migrant communities, as well as entertainment and a welcoming forum to share ideas and discuss current affairs. 3zzz plays a really vital role in multicultural Melbourne because we are so connected with the communities that we serve, and anyone that can get involved, it’s a volunteer organisation. 400 volunteers of every age and cultural background keep 3zzz on-air. It gives people from diverse backgrounds, diverse cultures, a chance to kind of provide some sort of input into the whole society of Melbourne. The station’s youngest volunteer is still at school, while some veteran radio personalities are in their late eighties. George Zeeit has spent many years broadcasting for the Lebanese community. I’m happy, I’m very happy to do my program and to talk on the radio. That’s become like a hobby for me. But his positive attitude and years of experience aren’t always enough to always keep listeners happy. Sometimes they ring us, they ask for a song and we are in trouble. Sometimes we don’t have it! Meanwhile in Sydney, 2000FM has been broadcasting since 1992. More than 300 volunteers broadcast in 50 different languages to the entire Sydney area, as well as some of regional New South Wales. These programs give these people some connection. They may not yet be fully comfortable linking out to mainstream communities, but still they are linking out to something. That connection clearly important to both volunteers and listeners. They love it, they love it, and they wait for it, and they always say they’re waiting for next week to start again.


The stations came about following the Broadcasting Act 1990 which allowed for the launch of independent national radio (INR) stations in the United Kingdom.[1] 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.[2]

INR stations on air

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.


  1. ^ "Broadcasting Act 1990". London: HMSO. Archived from the original on 28 June 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  2. ^ "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.
This page was last edited on 17 February 2020, at 20:53
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