Netherlands clears way for licensed low power mediumwave/AM stations


SWLing Post readers might recall that the Netherlands was considering opening licensed mediumwave broadcasting to low-power stations–it appears the path is now clear. Yesterday, Minister Kamp gave the green light to low-power stations (those with a power output from 1 to 100 watts) who can now apply for a broadcasting license.

Stig Hartvig Nielsen posted the following on the WRTH Facebook page:

Today Dutch minister Kamp has made it public that the Medium Wave band now will be open for low power stations operating with a power of max. 100 Watt. Full story here (in Dutch):…/groen-licht-voor-laagvermogen-uitzendinge…

One of the first stations to go on the air under the new legislation may be the long time pirate – Atlantis Radio 1521 – in Friesland. They got a license (?) from Commissariaat voor de Media in March 2016, and they recently purchased a new 75 W AM transmitter (300 W PEP). The format is golden oldies – and the station can be heard online here: – and more details can be found here:

It will be interesting to see how this decision plays out and how many stations will apply for a license. I’ll certainly listen for new stations on the U Twente Web SDR as they pop up.

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9 thoughts on “Netherlands clears way for licensed low power mediumwave/AM stations

  1. Peter

    Giving the medium open for low power AM is a bit too enthousiastic, the organisations that have to regulate everything created some “nice” difficulties for enthousiastic radiomakers:
    1 The 1 up to 100 watt is ERP, mod 50%, in real this means 300 mw – 30 watt antenna in plus a lot of noise coz of the reduced mod output
    2 The Musicrightorganisations calculate the theoretical listenerreach, 25 cents per household in the city where the lpam station is located plus a fixed fee of 2000 euro for the recordcompanies
    3 Even if it are lpam stations the station has to accept a contract with the Dutch AT for control , costs 300 euro per year.
    4 For a private person it is not possible to get a license, you have to create a foundation or company before you can ask fo a lisence, costs 200 euro

    Using a calculator it is still cheaper fo a normal radio hobbyist to rent some airtime at fo example 292, hobbyradio, the legal one, looks like to be only something for those that won the lotterie

  2. Roy Sandgren

    Must be 500 watt least on the country side. International agreements say that all frequencies can be used from 531 – 1710 kHz in use of low power !!

  3. John PA0ETE

    This is not in the whole country. Province of Limburg can be as high as +300m ASL for example. The good ground conditivity areas are mostly near the rivers, of which we have not so many. Provinces of Flevoland (some places -18m ASL), Friesland (with a lot of lakes) and Zeeland are almost completely of excelent ground conductivity. Parts of Noord-Brabant and Drenthe with parts lagerly consisting of only sand will be much less favourable. The 100W locations however are geografically determined, and those locations have been chosen for their excellent ground conductivity. The 100W licenses however will be issued on a 1 km seperation basis (they won’t be issued if there is another within 1 km) can be either on good or bad bottom conductivity. All 1W stations will be on 1485 kHz. The 100W stations will be on 747 kHz, 828 kHz, 1035 kHz, 1251 kHz, 1395 kHz, and if my information is correct they will be issued on a time-basis, for example weekly transmissions for 4 hours on a Thursday.

    1. Tom Servo

      I certainly hope that does not mean two 100 w stations could be on at the same time and only be a few km’s apart, that would be awful!

      Here in the US, there are places where 100 watts would easily give a station a reliable signal 25+ km. (And some where 1 km would be all it’s good for!)

  4. Tom Servo

    Is the ground conductivity good in the Netherlands? I could see even a few hundred ways serving a small town quite well.

    1. Dan Srebnick

      Considering that most of the country is below sea level, ground conductivity is excellent.


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