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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, 7 August 2014

5:46 PM

PPS : Very upset that the BBC are seriously chopping ALEX LESTER to three nights a week from October. He is the only presenter that makes me laugh out loud and has a great taste in music and off the wall humour. Too many so called celebrities at other times who know nothing about music and are me me me people.

Crass decision if you ask me.


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Nedbod's 619 posts GB flag

8:42 PM

Bizarre indeed, Netbod, but not a-typical... I was curious to note that childrens' programming ran parallel to The Games when normally the single multiplex broadcasts children's programming until 7pm and BBC Three from 7pm. They are happy to saturate 301 and 302 with nationwide sports and music. Fine by me. It would, however, be quite feasible to broadcast regional events from regional transmitters on 301 and 302.

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michael's 872 posts GB flag
Friday, 8 August 2014

11:41 AM

Nedbod: You complained about the BBC puling the Iplayer radio app about 3 weeks ago (using pretty much the same words), but I pointed out at the time that the BBC must know exactly how many users of the app there. Its an on demand service, and they can easily monitor the number of IP addresses accessing the site, downloading data, etc.

Since relatively few people use their TV's to listen to DAB radio, the number of people using the app must be tiny, and since there is a cost invovled to support the app for the TV platform, its simply not cost effective.

If they did support the app, people would no doubt criticise them for wasting money on something that was barely used (rather like the provision of LW, which must be at least £100 per year per listener, yet shouts go up should it be withdrawn). Seemingly they cannot win.

If you've bought a TV from a decent brand in the last year or two, I can assure you that it does have a webbrowser. The £15 you've spent on cables is relatively low, considering you can spend £85 on one HDMI cable if you wish, and c.£600 for a new Smart TV, Humax recorder and cables is hardly excessive.

Try via the browser, and if you do go down the tablet route, I saw a link the other day to Argo's outlet shop on Ebay - Samsung refurbed Galaxy Tab's for £59.

You may want to use the app, but if nobody else is, what are the BBC to do? In exactly the same way, you might demand that the music industry release all albums on 8 track, because thats what you have in your car. You can ask, but its unlikely to happen.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Saturday, 9 August 2014
John Martin

9:39 AM

Yeah that's life I am afraid. Majority catered for. Never mind the minority. Now if there was money in it??

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John Martin's 103 posts GB flag

5:51 PM

John Martin: Unfortunately life is like that - its the Benthamite 'greatest good of the greatest number'. In fact the BBC indulgies minorities more than most - look at BBC4, LW, etc. Certainly not a lot of money there.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag

8:22 PM

John Martin: The BBC stopped supporting flash player 9 a while ago too, so no i-player for those of us with older computers.

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KMJ,Derby's 1,811 posts GB flag
Thursday, 18 September 2014
Michael Suffield
9:45 AM
Blandford Forum

DT11 8TH ---- miserable FM reception and DAB available only on stations that I do not want/need. I shall buy, now, a new DAB/FM model and hope that the FM is improved on the new model and that DAB [Radios 3 & 4 ] may arrive soon.
When will/might that be?

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Michael Suffield's 1 post GB flag
Michael's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay

7:40 PM

Michael Suffield: Maybe only the BBC knows the answer. I found this list of Phase 4 transmitters and on-air dates but Blandford Forum isn't shown yet:

BBC - Help Receiving TV and Radio - DAB Phase 4

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Friday, 19 September 2014
william grierson
1:42 PM

I live near Stevenage-car DAB reception in and around is okay'ish-but household reception in SG4 is chronic.
In the list above i notice that letchworth is shaded blue and stevenage is black/grey-what does this mean?

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william grierson's 2 posts EU flag

1:59 PM

william grierson: This being the internet and all, blue text means it's a link for you to click on should you wish to do so...

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Briantist's 38,915 posts US flag
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