October 22, 2014

162 new BBC DAB transmitters in two years

The BBC’s Director of Distribution has announced plans to add 162 new digital radio transmitters to improve national DAB coverage for its national network stations to more than 97%.

The corporation says transmitters will be added at a rate of more than three every two weeks between now and Christmas 2015. Coverage at the moment is just over 93% of the UK. The fourth-phase of the roll-out will bring network BBC radio on DAB to an extra 2.5m people and improve coverage for millions of others.

Dr Alix Pryde, Director of BBC Distribution, made the announcement at Techcon at the start of the 2013 Radio Festival in Salford. She said: “We’re not just building transmitters to bring new towns and villages into coverage; we’re also building ones to reinforce coverage in key areas. Glasgow, Liverpool, Oxford, Leicester, Coventry, and Eastbourne are all examples of places which will get improved coverage for many, as well as coverage for the first time for a few. When we’ve finished, around 49 in 50 people in the UK will be covered by our digital radio network.”

The first transmitter in this phase to come on-air will be for Basingstoke – likely to happen before Christmas.

BBC DAB Phase 4 by area, number of transmitters in parentheses, including principal towns/villages

City-centre boosts

Aberdeen, Bournemouth, Coventry, Glasgow,Leicester, Lincoln, Liverpool, Oxford and Plymouth

England

Berkshire (2) – Wokingham, Maidenhead
Buckinghamshire (3) – Chesham, Aylesbury, High Wycombe
Cambridgeshire (1) – Wisbech
Cornwall (2) – St Just, St Erth
County Durham (1) – Weardale Valley
Cumbria (1) – Barrow-in-Furness
Derbyshire (6) – Ashbourne, Glossop, Chapel-en-le-Frith
Devon (10) – Ashburton, Bampton, Beer, Brixham, Dartmouth
Dorset (3) – Lyme Regis, Blandford Forum
Essex (2) – Braintree, Harlow
Gloucestershire (2) – Stow-on-the-Wold
Hampshire (4)
Hertfordshire (2) – Letchworth, Stevenage
Isle of Wight (1) – Ventnor
Kent (4) – Folkestone, Faversham, Dover, Deal
Lancashire (5) – Darwen, Blackpool, Whalley, Whitworth
Lincolnshire (7) – Boston, Bourne, Grantham, Scunthorpe, Skegness
Norfolk (11) – Brandon, Fakenham, Downham Market, Kings Lynn, Thetford, Wells-next-the-Sea
North Yorkshire (3) – Harrogate, Pateley Bridge, Skipton
Northampton (1)
Northumberland (3) – Haydon Bridge, Hexham, Alnmouth, Alnwick
Oxfordshire (1) – Banbury
Redcar and Cleveland (1) – Skinningrove
Shropshire (4) – Bishop’s Castle, Church Stretton, Ludlow, Oswestry
Somerset (2) – Chard, Weston-super-Mare
South Yorkshire (1) – Stocksbridge
Suffolk (7) – Southwold, Bungay, Felixstowe, Sudbury, Ipswich
Surrey (4) – Caterham, Haslemere, Dorking, Leatherhead
West Sussex (3) – Crawley, East Grinstead
East Sussex (2) – Rye, Eastbourne
Teesside (1) – Barnard Castle
West Yorkshire (4) – Hebden Bridge, Calder Valley
Worcestershire (1)

Scotland

Aberdeenshire (3)
Argyll and Bute (2), including Islay
Borders (3) – Innerleithen, Jedburgh, Peebles
Dumfries and Galloway (4) – Kirkconnel, Langholm, Moffat, Thornhill
Ross-shire and the isles (1)
Isle of Skye (1)
Perthshire (1) – Montrose
South Ayrshire (2)
South Lanarkshire (1)

Wales

Bridgend (1)
Camarthenshire (1) – Kidwelly
Ceredigion (2) – Lampeter, Newcastle Emlyn
Conwy (1)
North Anglesey (1)
Flintshire (1)
Neath Port Talbot (1)
North Wales (5) – Deiniolen, Dolgellau, Cefn Mawr, Wrexham
Pembrokeshire (2) – Haverfordwest, Tenby
Powys (4) – Brecon, Hay-on-Wye, Llanidloes, Machynlleth
South Wales (1) – Aberdare
Swansea (1)

Northern Ireland

Ballycastle (1)
Bangor (1)
Newtownards (1)

Channel Islands

Guernsey (1)

Isle of Man

Ramsey (1)
Port St Mary (1)

Posted on Monday, October 14th, 2013 at 10:30 am by .

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  • BBC Waste watcher

    “to improve national DAB coverage for its national network stations”

    Just what we need. How about some LOCAL BBC stations on some of the multiplexes. Oh and by the way, thank you BBC for all the cuts in news / journalism, and for spending (wasting) money on things like Radio 1’s new telecest / live video component. Basically, you spend the licence fee like there’s no tomorrow so you can justify maintaining the licence fee. Let’s transplant this: local government must spend its precept of lose it next time around. How about cutting senior management positions. How much did that fake snowball trailer cost a few years back?????????????????

    • Kevin Hunt

      The relentless BBC promotional propoganda to further this obsolete format goes on ( yet more abuse of my Licence Fee!). This is all very well but I heard Alix Pryde on “You & Yours” earlier this week answering a few questions about DAB; the gist of we are stuck with this old DAB ( rather than DAB+ ) and the fact that you can/will no longer be able to listen to multiple radios in sync in the morning ( or any other time ) is the price of “progress” ( two steps forward, several back)?! As before, if we must, let us have DAB to allow many more channels but we MUST retain high quality FM for serious listening – be that music or speech.

  • no nonsense guy

    When the BBC install Stevenage and Letchworth local DAB transmitter
    relay, would that include local community radio station Jack fm
    Hertfordshire being added to the service, i live in Baldock and Jack fm
    Hertfordshire 106.9 fm for Letchworth transmitter relay the reception is
    poor for Baldock. I rang Jack fm office at the pump house Knebworth park
    requesting to add Jack fm Hertfordshire on DAB,

    But they alway said no, come on guys get with the times and add Jack fm on DAB.

    Thanks…..

  • Stu Mitchell

    It’s a shame that DAB is already a massively outdated format before it gathers momentum in the market place. I would wager that, by the time it has a national ‘proper’ rollout, most people will be listening to digital radio over IP, be that via digital radio streaming to home based ‘static’ devices or to mobile phones over 3G and 4G networks, where data will become cheaper and cheaper. That only leaves in-car, and I’m pretty sure cars will become roving internet devices before that point in time.

    In the meantime, iTunes Radio, Spotify and others will eat away at conventional radio market share.

    Add that to the fact that DAB is of lousy quality, and I’m afraid it will hit a peak of listenership far sooner than it can roll out anything close to FM availability.

    It’s a dead duck.

  • khizar_07

    Analogue FM uses only 20 MHz of spectrum. Cheap low powered devices are able to run for weeks on AA batteries. There is no point of turning it off to recover just 20 MHz of spectrum.
    The purpose of DAB was to provide interference free reception. High quality audio with no noise distortion. Unfortunately this goal has not been met with only 30% of the country being able to receive the signal. It would be too expensive to erect thousands of Transmitter Masts. Additionally there is the problem of Frequency reuse and allocation!
    DAB occupies the 175-230 MHz part of the spectrum. With advanced Digital Signal Processing techniques DAB reception can be increased to FM coverage levels. Additionally, 20 MHz of this spectrum can be allocated to Mobile Phone Networks!

  • gigabyte

    why bother with something not as good as the old stuff fm I cant even watch the news in hd yet sought that out first

  • Jimbob

    Why just BBC stations (of which there are many)? I want local stations to choose from, yet my local station say they have no plans for DAB as it will cost them too much.

    So for ‘progress’ we are likely to lose local independent stations and gain dozens of BBC stations (Radio 1, 1 extra, 2, 3, 4, 4 extra, 5 live, 5 live sports, 6 and World Service). Talk about a monopoly. All telling us the BBC view.

    This is not progress.