BBC national digital radio continues to expand its DAB coverage

Date: 29.10.2014     Last updated: 29.10.2014 at 13.36
Category: Radio
An extra 35,000 households will be able to enjoy digital radio and reception will be improved for another 265,000 after the latest stage of the network expansion

The BBC has launched a further twelve national DAB transmitters bringing the total number of transmitters to 278 and covering more than 95% of the UK population. This is part of the current phase of their digital radio network expansion plan bringing a further 2 million people into the coverage area and increasing coverage from 93% to 97% by the end of 2015. The roll out is not only adding new areas into the coverage of the network but also improving reception for existing listeners in certain areas.

New transmitters have improved coverage in the following areas:

  • Bampton, Beer, Sidmouth (Devon)
  • Alton (Hampshire)
  • Blandford Forum and Winterborne Stickland (Dorset)
  • Findon (West Sussex)
  • Ventnor (Isle of Wight)

Additionally, for the first time listeners will be able to tune into the BBC’s digital only services in Kirkconnel, Sanquhar and Langholm in Dumfries & Galloway, Port Ellen on the Isle of Islay and Llanidloes in Powys.

These transmitters bring 35,000 households into the BBC’s national coverage area and improves digital radio reception for a further 265,000 households.

Garazi Goia, the BBC’s Director of Distribution, whose team have worked with transmission provider Arqiva to bring the transmitters on air, says: “We are delighted to announce the continuing build out of our next phase of coverage giving listeners the opportunity to enjoy improved coverage.”

Helen Boaden, Director of Radio says: “It is fantastic that more listeners will be able to enjoy the full range of BBC services. Extending national DAB coverage is an important part of building a digital future for radio.”

Listeners are advised to check their coverage at bbc.co.uk/digitalradio. A full list of transmitters rolled out so far as part of this phase of BBC digital radio expansion can also be found here.

DAB digital radio brings the listener more choice, improved sound quality, no re-tuning and extra information on broadcasts. To receive the BBC's digital radio services, listeners will need a DAB digital radio and have to live within the DAB coverage area.

Notes to Editors

The BBC has five digital-only radio networks:

• 1Xtra – the best in new black music,

• 5 live sports extra – the home of live sport with exclusive coverage of live events,

• 6 Music – the best of contemporary and classic rock and pop,

• Radio 4 Extra - the best of BBC comedy, drama and books from the archive,

• Asian Network – news and music from the British Asian scene.

Listeners can also receive Radios 1 to 5 live on digital radio.

The BBC’s national DAB coverage currently stands at 95% of the UK population.

Around 25million adults are listening to the BBC’s new digital-only stations each week (RAJAR).

There are now 19.5 million digital radios in the UK (GFK).

Digital radio offers improved reception and does not suffer from the interference and fading that can happen with AM and FM radio.

Digital radio is a more efficient means of broadcasting. More stations can be transmitted, offering more choice for listeners.

Digital radio can transmit text and data with the audio signal. A small screen on digital radios carries rolling text telling listeners what music they’re listening to, who’s being interviewed, and giving phone numbers and e-mail and website addresses.

Digital radios are available from all major retail outlets across the UK

Digital radio can also be received via digital television (satellite, cable and Freeview), online and via the BBC IplayerRadio app.

JA