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Where will the 162 new BBC DAB transmitters be?

The BBC has announced today a two-year plan to bring national BBC DAB to 2 million more people - to bring BBC national DAB coverage to above 97%.

We should not lose sight of the fact that overwhelmingly our audiences still come to our services through broadcast platforms  Photograph: Shutterstock
We should not lose sight of the fact that overwhelmingly our audiences still come to our services through broadcast platforms Photograph: Shutterstock
published on UK Free TV

Alix Pryde, Director of BBC Distribution, has written a blog post today explaining where the Making Waves: extending the BBC digital radio coverage to a further 2 million people

To quote Dr Pryde,

For radio, nearly 90% of listening hours are delivered through FM, AM, and digital (DAB), equating to 900 million hours of radio each week in round numbers; a staggering figure. It's the same for TV; some 98% of viewing is to live or time-shifted programmes which were delivered to the home on satellite, cable, or Freeview.

So I am making the point that we have to balance our critical investment in the future with investment in broadcast platforms, in order that they are worthy as the nation's favourite places to watch and listen to our services.

You might be wondering what this means for BBC Local Radio or our radio services for the Nations. Not a lot, I'm sorry to say. As you might know, our Local Radio services and our radio services for the Nations are carried in capacity which we buy from a commercial multiplex operator in each area. The expansion of the commercial multiplexes is tied up with the Government's digital radio action plan. There is extensive work going on across the industry on that front and we expect some more news at the end of this year. So, for now at least, this phase of network expansion covers only the BBC's UK-wide services.

The locations are listed as

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
Teeside (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)

I will integrate these locations into the UK Free TV DAB system soon.



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In this section
Which 45 masts transmit the 15 new national DAB radio stations? 1
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Comments
Monday, 14 October 2013
D
David
sentiment_satisfiedGold

1:06 PM

Had hoped that something better would replace DAB not expand it.

link to this comment
David's 306 posts GB
T
Trevor Harris
sentiment_satisfiedGold

1:50 PM

@David

Don't we all. The BBC is commited to this expendature even if no one listens. DAB listeneing is still only at 23.9% after 18 years!


link to this comment
Trevor Harris's 367 posts GB
I
Ian Sherwood
4:52 PM

Looking at the actual blog it seems bizzare that they are not issuing a list of transmission sites just places by county, now that they have taken down the list of new dab transmitter sites that used to be on the bbc site. They say that say are only going to issue local publicity when a particular transmitter comes into service.

I did wonder if the delay in this latest phase of transmitters meant that they were going to tie them in with Digital 1 and local dab once a timetable for switchover is announced but it looks as though they are goign to be completly seperate.

Ian

link to this comment
Ian Sherwood's 1 post GB
M
Mark
sentiment_satisfiedSilver

6:14 PM

@ Ian Sherwood:

The list will be very similar to the draft plan issued in April 2012. The vast majority of the sites will be the same as in the local mux plan. Digital One has fewer sites than BBC national or the local plan.

@ David

All of these transmitters are capable of using DAB+ when the time is right for the BBC to switch. The Netherlands has now fully switched to DAB+, and Germany has awarded more local DAB+ licences today.

link to this comment
Mark's 181 posts GB
T
Trevor Harris
sentiment_satisfiedGold

6:15 PM

Interesting I wonder if the BBC is actually having second thoughts at last. We now have a new Director General and he might have a different view about DAB. The Government is commited to make a statement by the end of the year but what on earth are they going to say. They certainly will not be able to commit to a definite switchover date. After all 2015 was meant to be a definite date. Every prediction of DAB listening has been very wrong. DAB has failed and the quicker the authorities realise this the better.

link to this comment
Trevor Harris's 367 posts GB
M
Mark
sentiment_satisfiedSilver

7:25 PM

The BBC's DG isn't having second thoughts about DAB, unless Helen Boaden is singing from the wrong hymnsheet.

Her speech at the Radio Festival included a lot of references to DAB and the need for radio to go digital by expanding DAB (the 162 new sites are evidence of this).

In any case it isn't possible for the BBC to pull out of DAB, it's a licence fee commitment to expand the DAB network to "FM equivalence as a switchover draws near".

On 16th December (at the Go Digital conference) Ed Vaizey will say that the Government agrees in principle that there should be a switchover, and that will free up public funding for the local DAB expansion (in line with the MoU agreement).

The actual date doesn't need to be named for the funding to be released.

link to this comment
Mark's 181 posts GB
M
michael
sentiment_satisfiedGold

7:28 PM

Quoted from above : "You might be wondering what this means for BBC Local Radio or our radio services for the Nations. Not a lot, I'm sorry to say. As you might know, our Local Radio services and our radio services for the Nations are carried in capacity which we buy from a commercial multiplex operator in each area. The expansion of the commercial multiplexes is tied up with the Government's digital radio action plan. There is extensive work going on across the industry on that front and we expect some more news at the end of this year." Let us hope it is good news! The transmitters listed today seem to focus on higher population density areas. Will there be infill relays for more remote or low-lying areas for the national networks - and ultimately for the local services?

link to this comment
michael's 854 posts GB
D
David
sentiment_satisfiedGold

7:31 PM

" @ David
All of these transmitters are capable of using DAB+ when the time is right for the BBC to switch. The Netherlands has now fully switched to DAB+, and Germany has awarded more local DAB+ licences today. "

Think it means a new radio set though and with the slow take up of DAB sets now would that go down well with Joe Public?

link to this comment
David's 306 posts GB
D
David
sentiment_satisfiedBronze

7:34 PM
Sandwich

why is Dover on the list as it ready gets national BBC DAB. it jest needs the local multipex. also why is Deal on the list as it go's under Dover.


link to this comment
David's 36 posts GB
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

8:25 PM

Mark: the problem now is that without a date set, some people won't bother upgrading. As soon as a date is decided upon, millions more will change "because they have to". The doubters said there would be a "refuseniks ryno" for Freeview... It never happened.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
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