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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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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

9:38 PM

michael: for internal reasons. If the last character of your post is a ) it will get processed for a postcode... There's a fix that checks for such a problem and will fix it after a couple of minutes. Sorry

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
Mark Agius

9:59 PM

Thank you for the radio circuit diagram.
I will have to modify it, as my car uses a 12 volt battery.
The 3 volt radio might blow up with 12 volts.

I will have to run 4 radios in series. Quadraphonic radio?

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Mark Agius's 374 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 16 October 2013
Trevor Harris

10:39 AM


I don't think I am everyman I have just been quoting from Ofcoms own research. FM should only be swiched off when a small number of people are using it. There is no sign that will happen in the near future. One reason FM is still so popular is that DAB is not a suitable replacement. As the Rajar report says after 18 years only 23.9% of listening is on DAB. Even now more FM radios are being sold than DAB.

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Trevor Harris's 367 posts GB flag

11:10 AM

Trevor Harris: ... and the easiest way to get people to stop using FM is to tell them you're going to switch it off.

It's not really "18 years" - the service was a "test broadcast" until about 2003.

Most of the FM radios are sold in equipment that people are buying anyway. As I pointed out above, it costs close to nothing to add an FM radio to any device, it doesn't mean that people are using them.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag

12:47 PM

"Trevor Harris: ... and the easiest way to get people to stop using FM is to tell them you're going to switch it off."
That would not be a vote winner at the next general election.

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David's 306 posts GB flag

1:22 PM


Labour have pretty much the same policy on DAB, as they came up with the proposed 2015 switch-off date (back in 2009).

You could vote for UKIP if you want to keep FM though.

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Mark's 181 posts GB flag

4:23 PM

"That would not be a vote winner at the next general election."

I recall they said that about TV switchover.

And when it finally happened, everyone was far too busy taking about the paedophile disk jockey to even notice.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
john martin

7:45 PM

MikeB Funny you should leave your comments. But I have already wired up my house to my 2 digiboxes and 1 digi TV. I already get woken by 1 digibox on a timer. So no I don't need anymore radios thank you. Plus I listen to more downloads than radio. I hooked my equipment up for wife more than me. She is very happy with arrangement and does'nt want any other channels

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john martin's 103 posts GB flag
john's: mapJ's Freeview map terrainJ's terrain plot wavesJ's frequency data J's Freeview Detailed Coverage

9:13 PM

john martin: If your solution is working for you, thats great. Its certainly an inventive and ingenious way of using redundant digiboxes and spare speakers.
However, its not a solution available to most people, and of course there are drawbacks. The boxes are tied to a mains supply and an aerial, and there are fewer channels than a normal DAB radio. Many of my customers also have a terrible fear of leaving anything on timer/standby (including their PVR's), so using their digibox would be unattractive.

Increasingly, people are streaming directly from all sorts of sources, using systems like Sonos, B& W etc, plus mobiles, tablets and Ipods, through to 'home-brew' systems using bluetooth and wifi. My radio has internet and other source wifi streaming capacity, and that sort of capacity will become more widespread.

However, for most people, radios are the easiest, most flexible way of listening.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Thursday, 17 October 2013
9:11 PM

I couldn't find anywhere to put this but it is related to BBC radio.

I used to listen to BBC Radio 4 Extra podcasts on my internet radio but the BBC have withdrawn Atom feeds that allow internet radios to receive the podcasts.

My internet radio is a Roberts but this issue, I suspect, will affect all internet radios.

I just want to listen to radio dramas on demand via my internet radio. It's not a lot to ask. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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Joe's 10 posts GB flag
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