Following the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s publication of a Framework Agreement for the expansion of local DAB radio, Ofcom has today published predicted coverage maps for each local area.
The coverage maps show what digital radio listeners in each area could expect to receive, both indoors and in-car, under the Local DAB Expansion Plan, due for completion by late 2016.
The coverage maps are the result of detailed technical planning work, led by Ofcom over the past two years to inform the proposed expansion.
The Local DAB Expansion Plan is designed to improve the coverage of local DAB multiplexes around the UK. The plan is funded by Government, local radio multiplex operators and the BBC and would see local DAB coverage rise from around 76% of homes at present to around 91% of UK households by late 2016, with a corresponding increase in road coverage. The local DAB multiplexes carry both commercial radio services and BBC Local or Nations’ services.
Ofcom has today also announced a consultation on proposed changes to some local multiplex licensed areas and frequencies. These changes have been requested by local multiplex operators as part of Local DAB Expansion plan.
If agreed, the frequency changes will require some listeners to retune their DAB digital radios. The radio industry would undertake a communications campaign to ensure listeners in each relevant area understand the changes and are kept informed.
The proposed changes would allow the extension of local DAB coverage into some currently unserved areas and would not affect listeners’ existing reception of local DAB services.
Ofcom is seeking views on the proposed changes. The consultation is available here and is open until 25 February 2015.