Ed Vaizey’s digital switchover announcement this month is expected to include news of a second national digital radio multiplex being advertised by Ofcom.
A report in the Telegraph says the Government will admit digital radio has not taken off fast enough and maybe even provide funding to help improve DAB coverage.
RadioToday asked Ofcom if a second multiplex is on the cards, to which we were told: “Ofcom will consider advertising a second national radio multiplex licence in the event of a Government decision on radio switchover.”
Arqiva owns the only current national multiplex, Digital One, and Paul Eaton, Director of Digital Radio & Terrestrial Broadcast Development at the company said he’d welcome another multiplex: “We expect there will be several credible parties interested in bidding. It’s too early to say whether Arqiva would be one of them, but we are interested in the outcomes of these discussions.”
A second national multiplex was due to be launched by 4 Digital Group in 2008 but the lead investor Channel 4 handed the licence back to Ofcom. Rumours of the licence being re advertised re-surfaced in 2011 but didn’t amount to anything.
Last week the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries said there will be no switchover until listeners are ready.
Read our full interview with Paul Eaton in the upcoming edition of #eRADIO this Wednesday.
Image: The Digital One line-up until recently.