Now Digital requests to extend Wales DAB
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Now Digital requests to extend Wales DAB

A DAB multiplex for Cardiff and Newport could be extended to cover the Heads of the South Wales Valleys if Ofcom approves a request.

The change has been sought by multiplex owner Now Digital, who also wants to change the frequency it operates on to reach an extra 100,000 households.

Three new transmitters would be used to cover Aberdare, Abergavenny and Ebbw Vale and the company also wants to change the current transmitter at Wenallt for one at Wenvoe, covering Mendip.

Now currently carries Capital, Choice, Gold, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru plus a Pop Up Radio service, and intends to carry Real Radio, Heart and Nation Radio when the current regional MXR multiplex closes on July 29th.

The last time Now Digital asked for a DAB Multiplex extension, it attracted 234 responses, with most of them against the change. However, Ofcom approved it and as a result the Exeter & Torbay multiplex was given permission to extend to North Devon.

Ofcom has now taken the latest request to consultation but generally approves requests from local radio multiplex licensees to extend their coverage, as per the Digital Economy Act 2010. Closing date for comments is July 19th.

The local radio multiplex licence for the Cardiff & Newport area of Wales was awarded in December 1999 to Capital Radio Digital Limited, now called Now Digital (Southern) Limited. The licence commenced when the multiplex service was launched just under a year later in October 2000 and covers a population of 843,647 people.

Now Digital aims to launch the new transmitters on July 30th 2013.

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