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DAB local radio gaps

Whilst most of the country does have operating local radio digital services, there is now a dispute about who is expected to provide them for the 2015 radio switchover target.

Whilst most of the country does have operating local radio digi
published on UK Free TV

There are some areas with no operating local DAB multiplex - this means that there are no local commercial radio stations on DAB, and also no BBC services.

The provision of these multiplexes was intended to be provided by commercial operators, but there has been a recent DAB promotion dispute due to some radio stations wanting the BBC to operate the multiplexes.

It should be noted that the commercial operators may wish the BBC to do this, but the BBC would require approval of the BBC Trust and Ofcom, and of course the money would need to come from somewhere.

Here is a list of the areas concerned:


BBC Radio Cumbria

No plans for DAB service exist, currently on 95.6 FM, 96.1 FM and 104.1 FM.

BBC Radio York

Planed to be on the not-yet-operating North Yorkshire (North West) commercial radio multiplex, currently on 103.7 FM and 95.5 FM.

BBC Radio Lincolnshire

Planned to be on the not-yet-operating Lincolnshire commercial radio multiplex, currently on 94.9 FM and 104.7 FM.

BBC Radio Derby

Planned to be carried on the Derbyshire commercial radio multiplex, currently on 104.5 FM, 95.3 FM and 96 FM.

BBC Hereford & Worcester

To be carried on the Hereford and Worcester commercial radio multiplex, when operational. Analogue services on 104 FM and 94.7 FM.

BBC Radio Northampton

Will be carried on the Northamptonshire multiplex when operational, currently on 104.2 FM and 103.6 FM.

Places without BBC local radio on DAB

BBC Three Counties Radio

To be carried on the Herts, Beds+Bucks commercial multiplex when operational, current services on 95.5 FM, 103.8 FM and 104.5 FM.

BBC Radio Suffolk

No plans for DAB service to replace 95.5 FM and 104.6 FM

BBC Radio Surrey

To be carried on two commercial multiplexes, Guildford and Surrey+North Sussex, when operational, currently analogue on 104 FM and 104.6 FM.

BBC Radio Oxford

Planned for carriage on the Oxfordshire commercial multiplex, when operational, on 95.2 FM currently.

BBC Radio Gloucestershire

Planned to be carried on the Gloucestershire commercial multiplex, when operating. Currently broadcast on 104.7 FM and 1413 AM.

BBC Radio Somerset

No plans to supplement 95.5 FM and1566 AM currently.

Channel Islands

BBC Guernsey

No plans to add digital services to 93.2 FM and 1116 AM.

BBC Jersey

No plans to add digital services to 88.8 FM and 1026 MW.


BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru

Operating on Cardiff+Newport and Swansea multiplexes, but both radio stations awaiting three commercial multiplexes to be operating: Mid+West Wales, NE Wales+Chester and North Wales to complete coverage.

Northern Ireland

Radio Foyle

Running six month DAB test service in addition to 93.1 FM and 792 MW.

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Monday, 3 January 2011

11:59 AM

Will the DAB Local & National transmitter build still be possible to the same extent and in the same time frame, with the 5 year freeze on the BBC licence fee, plus the new commitments required of it, e.g. i.e funding BBC WORLD SERVICE TV & RADIO plus ITV Local News ?

I asked this same question in a previous post and there was no reply surprisingly.

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Nedbod's 619 posts GB flag
Big Dave

4:57 PM

Whatever the intentions of the Digital Economy Act what happens in reality is likely to be very different. 20 years ago BSB was launched as the UK's official Satellite Broadcaster & Sky only was operatimg (sidestepping the UK's broadcast laws of the day) by transmitting in the telecoms satellite band - and look what happened! Here in Oxfordshire our local DAB multiplex license was awarded to Now Digital 3 1/2 years ago but still they have not gone on air despite the fact they were obliged to do so within 2 years. Audio quality from DAB is inferior to FM mainly due to the fact that virtuality all stations are broadcasting at 128kbps rather than the prefered 192kbps. Reception is patchy at best. I have to have roof mounted aerial to get a decent signal from our local oxford transmitter (20 Miles away) so in car reception most definitely out. If the government want analogue radio switched off then it had better get its finger out and bang some heads together PDQ.

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Big Dave's 42 posts GB flag
Big's: mapB's Freeview map terrainB's terrain plot wavesB's frequency data B's Freeview Detailed Coverage

5:48 PM

Big Dave : Apart from BBC World Service, Asian Network, Five Live Sports Extra on 64 kbps and BBC Radio 4 (at times) and BBC Radio 5 Live @ 80 kbps MONO and a string of commercial stations now broadcasting at less than 128 kbps. Areas such as Hollingworth nr Glossop despite being very close to Holme Moss receive very weak digital radio signals bearly strong enough to penetrate the outside walls of a building.

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Nedbod's 619 posts GB flag
Thursday, 6 January 2011

3:02 PM

Nedbod: "Will the DAB Local & National transmitter build still be possible to the same extent and in the same time frame".

Yes, there are no plans to change it.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
Friday, 7 January 2011

10:27 AM

So where is the money coming from then, if the BBC licence fee is not to be increased for 5 years and it now has to pay for other services. The figures simply don't add up, do they. Also materials and transport/petrol/diesel/oil costs have increased dramatically recently, surely this must have a knock on effect. Is the race to go fully digital worth all this expense when at the end of the day we end up with lower quality broadcasts (with more programmes in mono that were previously in stereo in higher audio quality heard in fewer locations).

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Nedbod's 619 posts GB flag
Saturday, 8 January 2011

9:47 AM

Nedbod: The budget has already been allocated and is part of a long-term contract with Arqiva which is at a fixed price, according to reports.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
Saturday, 15 January 2011
dave griffiths
10:25 AM

D.A.B BLOCK 12A in scarborough is un receivable(unless you have an external dab aerial, still quite low in sig.)since digital 1 (11D)&BBC National dab (12B)appeared on olivers mount local transmitter for scarborough in 2007/08.
Prior to this 12A MXR Yorkshire was a good signal in this area,even in door coverage, the reduction in signal on 12A is soley down very poor channel allocations,that the 2 national multiplexes interfere with the local one. This a right mess!

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dave griffiths's 3 posts GB flag
Big Dave

11:49 PM

I can thoroughly recommend Grant Goddards excellent book "DAB: License to Fail" if you want to see what is likely to happen in the real world.

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Big Dave's 42 posts GB flag
Sunday, 16 January 2011

11:35 PM

Goddards free-to-read summary is of relevant interest, and would seem to reflect the current state of play. I would be happy to see DAB really equal FM, but a "coalition-compromise" may currently be a more realistic expectation, especially for local and commercial radio. DAB may have to settle for mainly national SFNs, at least for this decade.

Goddard: "In my opinion, the likely outcome is that fm radio (supplemented in the uk by am and Long Wave) will continue to be the dominant radio broadcast technology. For those consumers who seek more specialised content or time-shifted programmes, the internet will offer them what they require, delivered to a growing range of listening opportunities integrated into all sorts of communication devices. In this way, the future will continue to be fm radio for everyday consumer purposes, with personal consumer choice extended significantly by the internet."

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michael's 869 posts GB flag
Monday, 17 January 2011

7:50 AM

Nice to see the Luddites can sort out a book.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
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