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Birmingham - illegal radio station taken off air
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Post Birmingham - illegal radio station taken off air Reply with quote
Oct 5 2004

By Sarah Probert, The Birmingham Post

An illegal radio station in Birmingham was taken off air yesterday after
investigators from communications regulator OfCom carried out a raid.

Silk City FM had been broadcasting on the same wavelength as new station
Aston FM, which was launched last week as part of a community project to
revive the area.

Aston FM runs on 106.9 FM until October 21 but for the past few days had
been unable to reach local residents, with its transmissions reaching no
further than its own car park.

Silk City FM had been targeted previously by OfCom, which had removed radio
transmitters only to see the station re-established soon after.

The raid yesterday saw mixing desks, radio equipment and transmitters taken
away from premises in an undisclosed area of the city.

A spokesman for OfCom said the raid was significant part of its attempts to
prevent the station broadcasting again for some time.

He said: "Silk City FM had been broadcasting on the same frequency as Aston
FM and we executed a search warrant and took down not just the transmitters
but also the studio itself and that is a major blow to them. "Pirate radio
stations are a problem that we face all the time, they put new transmitters
up almost as fast as we take them away.

"In some cases they are lucrative illegal businesses, most of them charge
young aspiring DJs Ł30 an hour to use their equipment to broadcast and there
are links to organised crime. Certainly drug dealers who want to promote
certain raves or club nights will use pirate radio stations."

Muff Murfin, who helped set up the 24-hour Aston FM, said the illegal
station had managed to return to the airwaves following previous attempts by
Of Com to remove its transmitters.

Speaking before the raid, he said: "We can't be heard anywhere apart from
outside. It is the only frequency we can have. We have tried to get them to
come and be with us."

http://icbirmingham.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/post/tm_objectid=14720226&method=full&siteid=50002&headline=illegal-radio-station-taken-off-air-name_page.h
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