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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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Friday, 10 January 2014

8:31 PM

Apparently the Norwegians love it:

Google Translate

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Mark's 181 posts GB flag
Thursday, 16 January 2014
Noel Thomas
2:29 PM

Mid-Sussex must be the only heavily populated area in the UK with limited local radio (BBC Radio Sussex) DAB coverage. There is a feed to the Heathfield transmitter, but no multiplex to serve the area. The 'Sussex Coast' transmitters don't, as somebody has put a big pile of chalk in the way.
I understand that this is to be rectified, not by moving the South Downs, but can find no details. Please can you tell me when it's scheduled?
It's no good having adverts with a little guy extolling the virtues of DAB and encouraging the public to purchase DAB radios, if one of the main programs can't be received.

Trying to get any information regarding DAB Radio is impossible, Radio Sussex say contact the BBC Reception Advise service, who say contact Ofcom, who say contact the Commercial providers, who say there are no plans, contact Radio Sussex.

And don't bother trying to contact Ed Vaizey, the UK Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries or Dr Alix Pryde, Director of BBC Distribution to ask for help

I thinks that page 5 of the website http://www.frequencyfinde….pdf says it all, just big white areas indicating no local radio coverage across wide areas of SE England.

Change-over in 2017, who's kidding who?

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Noel Thomas's 2 posts GB flag

4:14 PM

Noel Thomas: HI.

I covered the areas that don't yet have local radio DAB coverage.

The end is near for analogue radio... Part 4, the local radio to do list | Digital radio | - 11 years of independent, free digital TV advice

There IS a plan, listed here


The Digital Radio Action Plan Version 10 9 January 2014 is here….pdf

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag

10:37 PM

Thanks Brian for these useful updates, yet to be read in detail. The GOOD NEWS : two commercial radio stations recently improved coverage of our undulated area - both on FM only. A close lightening strike killed my router and web-radio, so I am grateful for the FM upgrade. I have searched, but not yet found any specific information on comparable DAB coverage.

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michael's 872 posts GB flag
Sunday, 19 January 2014
Dave E
8:17 AM

An update on the situation with DAB and new cars -I was in a showroom the other day having a "browse" (my existing car is coming up to 4 years old and they sent me some interesting offers!!) -I asked the salesman about DAB radio in an upmarket model of a popular car - he looked blank and went off to talk to his colleagues -came back to tell me that it wasn't standard -but could be fitted to the new model at a premium of over £400 !!!! How many people are going to do that ??

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Dave E's 19 posts GB flag

12:46 PM

The last time I asked Toyota this the upgrade was over £1,000.

I enquired in Halfords about fitting DAB car radio and they said they couldn't do it in the Toyota model I owned (something about leads/sockets)

They didn't stock the Pure Highway 300di any more but said they could fit one for me if I bought it else where.

What a hassle.

link to this comment
PJH's 240 posts GB flag
Monday, 20 January 2014

11:14 AM

I wish the BBC had persevered with Digital Radio Mondiale on MW and Digital Radio Mondiale Plus on VHF-FM 87-108mHz. These systems use existing AM and FM wavebands to provide good quality near FM mono and stereo radio services over existing infrastructure.

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Anthony's 70 posts GB flag
Anthony's: mapA's Freeview map terrainA's terrain plot wavesA's frequency data A's Freeview Detailed Coverage

4:20 PM

The problem with DRM was lack of receivers Anthony. The tests went on for quite a number of years yet, very few people could actually receive them, which was a great pity..

DRM seems to be pretty much dead now, sadly.

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PJH's 240 posts GB flag

4:46 PM

PJH: Wasn't the problem that night-time performance was poor?

BBC - Radio Labs: Digital Radio Mondiale - our medium-wave experiences

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag

9:21 PM

Very true, Brian.It would seem that DRM may yet have a future on LW, SW, VHF - and
perhaps even on MW if further research and frequency allocation agreements were
achieveable. The vacant spectrum will surely be claimed with magic technology one day... Nerds who have not yet discovered webradio can for now tinker with DRM with a 12kHz IF output and PC software. A lightening strike a week ago took out my phone, router and webradio, so I am getting paranoid, unplugging everything at the most distant rumble. Still, there is good news : Monsieur Cruise is taking out the bogies
on France 4 as I type :-)

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michael's 872 posts GB flag
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