Radio innovator from Brighton wins royal recognition

Posted On 08 Jun 2019 at 4:24 am

A radio engineer from Brighton who works for the industry regulator Ofcom has been made an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list.

Rashid Mustapha – known as Rash – becomes an MBE for services to radio broadcasting.

His innovative approach was personally commended by former government minister Ed Vaizey.

Mr Mustapha, 44, carried out the first test of small-scale digital audio broadcasting (DAB) in the country in Brighton.

The success of his work has greatly reduced costs and created opportunities for local and community broadcasters.

His achievements and determination have already been recognised by his peers. Last September he earned a Digital Radio Hall of Fame award.

Mr Mustapha has been a broadcasting engineer at Ofcom since 2011.

And in 2012 he pioneered the groundbreaking approach to broadcasting known as small-scale DAB.

The Cabinet Office said: “He successfully delivered a reliable, high-quality digital radio broadcast, and could do so at potentially much lower cost than currently required for equipment to deliver wide-area coverage.

“This trial led to the DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) giving Ofcom funding over two years to expand his work and to see whether it would work at scale.

“Under his technical leadership, in June 2015, Ofcom awarded temporary licences for 10 trials of small-scale DAB multiplexes in different locations across the UK.

“The trials were hugely successful. There are currently around 100 services on those multiplexes with some carried on several multiplexes.

“He fed back the technical findings into a report to government that was personally commended by Ed Vaizey.”

Since completion of the trials, the DCMS and Ofcom have been pushing ahead with a national expansion of smaller digital radio stations now that they are technically possible and commercially viable.

The Cabinet Office added: “The use of the small-scale DAB technology developed by Rashid will secure long-term benefits for the UK’s smaller commercial and community stations and also for overseas listeners who will also benefit from this technology.”

The founder of Totally Radio, Britain’s longest-running internet radio station, Daniel Nathan, from Brighton, said: “I’ve known and worked with Rash for thirty years and it’s great to see him recognised for an often maverick approach to reimagining radio technology – from pioneering work in low-power FM radio, through the birth of internet streaming and also the open source digital radio platform that many of our industry colleagues said would never work – until it did!”

  1. Simon Phillips Reply

    Ofcom, Ofwat, Ofgem, what’s the connection? They all seem to work for the benefit of the company? Doesn’t the money for these organisations come from the same utilities they are meantbto be regulator?
    A honour, for a person who instead works FOR THE PEOPLE, for the benefit of the people, stands by, and let’s us be ripped off, is a reward failure to protect the consumer! Ye gods! We need a regulator, to protect us from regulators like this who work for the benefit of these rip off companies!

  2. Marcus Reply

    This person has spent years developing a way that makes it easier for smaller local stations to be part of the bigger picture.

    Ofcom not only regulate but are involved in future tech and together with people like Rashid, push the boundaries from not possible to possible.

    I have known Rashid for many years as we both completed our ham radio course at the same venue and interested in radio tech etc.

    Well done Rashid, good work !

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