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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


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)


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)


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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Monday, 14 October 2013

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.

link to this comment
Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
Trevor Harris

8:40 PM


Wow do you know Ed Vaizey or the script writer for his speach. How did you get hold of this info. Everyone else has been speculating on what he is going to do. In one way it does not matter what he says because he is likely to be out of office soon.

As for Helen Boaden like all BBC managers probably does not have a clue what is going on in the BBC. It's a bit like the computer project that was steaming ahead until someone pulled the plug. Commitments don't matter either to the Government or the BBC just look at the number of u-turns last year.

Its a bit odd that that Helen Boaden is going to give a speach on an obsolete radio system at a conference for the future of radio.


Unfortunatly DAB+ cannot save DAB because it is still not fit for purpose.

As for the Government paying for local DAB is a complete waist of public money. Local DAB radio will fail like regional DAB did.

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Trevor Harris's 367 posts GB flag
Trevor Harris

8:52 PM


Actually they will not have to switch to DAB. If they switch off Radio 4 will loose a large proportion of it's audience. Some will switch to the internet.

Nobody will switch off any FM stations while it is the most listened to platform. Don't be bullied by the bullies and keep your money in your pocket. What ever happed to "consumer lead".

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Trevor Harris's 367 posts GB flag

8:59 PM

Trevor Harris: of course you misrepresent what I said.

They are not saying they will close R4 FM with immediate effect.

But if they say "in two years time" then most people will have been warned enough to make them seek out a DAB radio in time.

Remember there will be two years of "on air" reminders.

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Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
11:11 PM

I for one am looking forward to a fill-in for Lincoln City, the signal now is considerably worse than it was 10 Years ago, they could co-locate with the planned local mux transmitter. I've no interest in local radio or Radio 4, just Test Match Special.

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Ian's 17 posts GB flag

11:15 PM

What will happen is this.

The BBC will start replacing (ie, they continue on digital platforms) all the "on air trailers" for programmes on all radio networks with a message saying, in a network-suitable voice:

"UK national and local radio will not transmit on this analogue network after 2019. If you wish to listen to BBC radio, you must switch to a digital radio system: Freeview, online or DeeAyBee. For more information call the BBC action line on 0800 000000".

Two years of hearing that every half hour.... will get the message over.

Who would be mad enough to buy an FM-only radio then?

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Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 15 October 2013
12:35 AM

Dump the delivery, and the utterers of same!!
Why reinvent a square wheel? Sorry; forgot - its made of digital steam, worth at least one 3mil thumper.

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peter's 16 posts GB flag
12:36 AM

Fair enough.

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peter's 16 posts GB flag

2:34 AM

Sadly, only 3 in Northern Ireland.

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PJH's 240 posts GB flag

2:45 AM

Surprised Kilkeel and Rostrevor Forest aren't on that list as South Down really is a black spot for DAB.

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PJH's 240 posts GB flag
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