Three new digital radio transmitters have been switched on in Surrey, giving local coverage to almost 800,000 people.
The official ‘Switch-On’ event took place at Epsom Downs Racecourse with Sir Paul Beresford MP for Mole Valley, watched by representatives from UKRD, MuxCo and Digital Radio UK. Four radio stations will be on the new multiplex, including a third Eagle-branded service.
Sir Paul Beresford: “Surrey is way ahead on digital radio, with over half of us having a digital radio at home. I welcome these new DAB transmitters which mean that our excellent local radio stations can now be received on digital radio at home and in-car.”
The multiplex, operated by MuxCo, will see BBC Surrey, 96.4 Eagle Radio and Redstone FM go on DAB digital radio for the first time.
Gregory Watson, Managing Director of MuxCo said: “Muxco Surrey is a joint venture with UKRD Group. We are extremely excited to be working with UKRD to launch this multiplex, which will deliver a mix of existing and new digital-only radio services, such as Redstone FM and Eagle 3, in digital quality to 800,000 listeners in Surrey. We are in discussion with a number of operators that will enable further new services to launch during 2014.”
William Rogers, Chief Executive of UKRD said: “It’s a further exciting step for our operation based in Guildford that they are launching digital only service eagle3 on the Surrey DAB multiplex and it represents a further step forward in broadening the offering we are providing for listeners and advertisers alike”.
One of the two digital-only services will be Redstone FM. Des Shepherd, Chief Executive of the station said: “It’s great that Redstone FM will be available to listeners on DAB for the first time, bringing local news and music to our listeners, with the digital benefits of easy tuning and scrolling information.”
Sara David, Editor of BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey said: “We are delighted that BBC Surrey will be available on DAB for the first time. It brings improved reception to many parts of the county and gives us the opportunity to offer our full range of programmes in digital quality. As well as our radio programmes, the latest news, sport weather and travel information will also scroll across listeners DAB radio sets.”
Jane Ostler, Director of Digital Radio UK, said: “This is great news for almost 800,000 people in Surrey as until now they have not been able to receive their favourite local stations on DAB. Boosting coverage for this area means listeners can tune into their favourite local stations as well as national BBC and commercial stations.”