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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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Thursday, 23 January 2014
Roy Weblin
1:25 PM

What is the point of changing to DAB? The output is so similar to those on FM. The only Channel I listened to was the excellent 'One Word Radio' which really showed the BBC how it should be done. Stories read by people you could understand. Countinuity announcers who spoke clearly without peculiar accents. The list goes on.

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Roy Weblin's 1 post GB flag

8:41 PM

Roy Weblin: How is the output on the BBC's digital stations 6 Music, 5 Live Sports Extra, Asian Network, World Service & 1Xtra similar to what's available on FM?

Oneword might have survived if BBC7 (now Radio 4 Extra) hadn't launched. BBC7 had the benefit of the BBC's audio back catalogue to draw on, whereas Oneword had to make do with book readings.

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Mark's 181 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 11 February 2014

4:07 PM

I just cannot and still cannot believe that when these transmitters become operational, coverage will come to 97%. That just has to be incorrect.

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Hb446's 27 posts GB flag

5:56 PM

Hb446: Why can't you believe it? Freeview has similar coverage.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag

9:03 PM

Rearguard action, I know, but in times of emergency, the best coverage receivable on a battery-friendly portable radio has its merits. It is more feasible to protect and maintain a few AM and FM main transmitters than a multitude of DAB main and filler transmitters. My expensive DAB radio just died in its infancy, but I still have a fistful of semi-ancient portable AM/FM thingys (plus a few with soothing glowbugs). I will have to settle for a cheapo DAB replacement. Are there any reviews which include battery consumption ?

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michael's 871 posts GB flag

10:17 PM

Briantist: I'm talking about the 162 transmitters that are to come on air before the end of 2015, not the transmitters after that date.

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Hb446's 27 posts GB flag
Hb446's: mapH's Freeview map terrainH's terrain plot wavesH's frequency data H's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Wednesday, 5 March 2014
7:34 PM

Do you have any Air Dates for these new DAB transmitters? I ask because today TMS (or should that be ODI S) on BBC 5Lx worked much better in central Lincoln than it ever has before - I'm wondering if the Lincoln transmitter is testing or if it was just a good day.

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Ian's 17 posts GB flag

8:07 PM

Ian: Nothing on the BBC site yet, but might not be bang up to date.

Keep an eye on BBC - Help Receiving TV and Radio - DAB expansion

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Phil's 39 posts GB flag
Thursday, 29 May 2014
george hamilton
2:15 PM

is there any radio reception on Harris - outer Hebrides?
I have a small fm/dab radio but is it worth taking?
I have a fair amount of luggage for the weather is very unpredictable so I do not want to take any extra luggage if is useless?

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george hamilton's 1 post GB flag
Don Wheeler
3:26 PM

george hamilton: according to the maps there are FM and DAB transmitters on the outer Hebredies carrying the BBC stations only. The post code of your destination will give an indication of what sort of reception to expect.

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Don Wheeler's 4 posts GB flag
Don's: mapD's Freeview map terrainD's terrain plot wavesD's frequency data D's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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