New Delhi, Sept. 3: The information and broadcasting ministry will conduct e-auction of FM radio licences for 839 channels from October.
These channels will go on air in about 295 cities under the phase III expansion plan of FM broadcast. Currently, 86 cities are covered by FM radio stations. After phase III, all cities with over 1 lakh population will be covered by FM.
Sources in the ministry said the auction details had been prepared after the guidelines were cleared by the cabinet in May this year.
“The third round of expansion has been delayed for nearly two years, as the telecom scam cast a cloud over the process of allocation of natural resources such as radio spectrum. Expansion of FM will be beneficial to all stakeholders — the players, listeners, advertisers and the government,” said a senior ministry official.
Sources said the I&B ministry expected to rake in around Rs 1,532 crore from the auction of the new radio channels.