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DAB local radio gaps

Whilst most of the country does have operating local radio digital services, there is now a dispute about who is expected to provide them for the 2015 radio switchover target.

Whilst most of the country does have operating local radio digi
published on UK Free TV

There are some areas with no operating local DAB multiplex - this means that there are no local commercial radio stations on DAB, and also no BBC services.

The provision of these multiplexes was intended to be provided by commercial operators, but there has been a recent DAB promotion dispute due to some radio stations wanting the BBC to operate the multiplexes.

It should be noted that the commercial operators may wish the BBC to do this, but the BBC would require approval of the BBC Trust and Ofcom, and of course the money would need to come from somewhere.

Here is a list of the areas concerned:


BBC Radio Cumbria

No plans for DAB service exist, currently on 95.6 FM, 96.1 FM and 104.1 FM.

BBC Radio York

Planed to be on the not-yet-operating North Yorkshire (North West) commercial radio multiplex, currently on 103.7 FM and 95.5 FM.

BBC Radio Lincolnshire

Planned to be on the not-yet-operating Lincolnshire commercial radio multiplex, currently on 94.9 FM and 104.7 FM.

BBC Radio Derby

Planned to be carried on the Derbyshire commercial radio multiplex, currently on 104.5 FM, 95.3 FM and 96 FM.

BBC Hereford & Worcester

To be carried on the Hereford and Worcester commercial radio multiplex, when operational. Analogue services on 104 FM and 94.7 FM.

BBC Radio Northampton

Will be carried on the Northamptonshire multiplex when operational, currently on 104.2 FM and 103.6 FM.

Places without BBC local radio on DAB

BBC Three Counties Radio

To be carried on the Herts, Beds+Bucks commercial multiplex when operational, current services on 95.5 FM, 103.8 FM and 104.5 FM.

BBC Radio Suffolk

No plans for DAB service to replace 95.5 FM and 104.6 FM

BBC Radio Surrey

To be carried on two commercial multiplexes, Guildford and Surrey+North Sussex, when operational, currently analogue on 104 FM and 104.6 FM.

BBC Radio Oxford

Planned for carriage on the Oxfordshire commercial multiplex, when operational, on 95.2 FM currently.

BBC Radio Gloucestershire

Planned to be carried on the Gloucestershire commercial multiplex, when operating. Currently broadcast on 104.7 FM and 1413 AM.

BBC Radio Somerset

No plans to supplement 95.5 FM and1566 AM currently.

Channel Islands

BBC Guernsey

No plans to add digital services to 93.2 FM and 1116 AM.

BBC Jersey

No plans to add digital services to 88.8 FM and 1026 MW.


BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru

Operating on Cardiff+Newport and Swansea multiplexes, but both radio stations awaiting three commercial multiplexes to be operating: Mid+West Wales, NE Wales+Chester and North Wales to complete coverage.

Northern Ireland

Radio Foyle

Running six month DAB test service in addition to 93.1 FM and 792 MW.

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Wednesday, 17 October 2012
George Buchanan

2:44 PM

But not Radio Scotland? Just 1 to 5?

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George Buchanan's 43 posts GB flag

6:20 PM

George Buchanan: There are plans for local radio multiplexes to cover the unserved parts of Scotland. As Radio Scotland is an established FM service which matches the coverage of the other BBC national stations it would be odd if the local multiplexes did not match the coverage of the BBC national multiplex if the planned FM switch off is to apply to BBC Scotland. There are going to be some heavily subsidised transmitters in the North and West of Scotland!

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KMJ,Derby's 1,811 posts GB flag

6:37 PM

Maurice: BBC Scotland has regional opt outs on FM, so could not be carried on a national multiplex if it is to continue providing the same level of service. Regarding the commercial multiplex, as there is a different frequency used in Scotland, Digital One could have been ordered to carry a version of BBC Scotland, but there is then the question of extending the coverage to the unserved parts, Ofcom already having decided that Digital One need only serve those areas currently within the (intended) range of the Classic FM transmitter network. There is no provision for subsidising any expansion of Digital One.

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KMJ,Derby's 1,811 posts GB flag
Sunday, 21 October 2012
George Buchanan

7:36 PM


I'm not sure that I undestand the term 'heaviliy subsidised' as it applies to radio transmitters. The opposite is surely 'lucratively profitable'. How does that work? Do you mean the number of listeners in a given area?

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George Buchanan's 43 posts GB flag

8:08 PM

George Buchanan: Well, yes, the owners of the commercial multiplexes base the economics on the cost of providing and running a transmitter in relation to the number of listeners (or viewers for tv) which are served by the transmitter. The extra transmitters for local multiplexes being built as part of the commitment to an FM switch-off serve populations which are considered too small to be viable in economic terms, so an agreement has been reached whereby the cost of providing these transmitters is shared between the commercial radio stations, the BBC and the government. Hence, in part, why the MXR multiplexes are to close and the 'savings' put into running the extra local multiplexes.

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KMJ,Derby's 1,811 posts GB flag
Friday, 26 October 2012
8:32 PM

Sadly still no local DAB for Somerset! We seem to be a bit of a 'no mans land' for local TV and radio in Taunton. We do have BBC Somerset (excellent) which after about lunchtime seems to be Radio Bristol. Local TV is either Spotlight (Devon & Cornwall) or Points West (Bristol in the main)

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Bob's 2 posts GB flag
Bob's: mapB's Freeview map terrainB's terrain plot wavesB's frequency data B's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Monday, 19 November 2012

3:53 PM

Not sure why the BBC are currently putting out promotional maetrial on BBC TV for digital radio on the grounds of it provides better audio quality. This is not the case as BBC DAB is broadcasting BBC Radio 4 in the evenings in MONO (including many programmes made in STEREO). So by far the better quality is now FM IN (((STEREO))). Also during the Olympics the bit rate was lowered on BBC Radios 1, 1 Xtra, 2, 4, 5 Live and BBC World Service. The BBC deparately needs more DAB capacity to increase the sound quality of its channels.

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Nedbod's 619 posts GB flag
Friday, 23 November 2012
10:58 PM


Your comment regarding BBC Scotland. The opt outs of radio Scotland is for local consumption the same as e.g is for BBC Radio Leeds is for local consumption. The opt outs for radio Scotland could be done on FM and allow the BBC Scotland National Station to be broadcast on DAB. BBC Radio Scotland is not a Local Radio but is Broadcast troughout the whole of Scoland. So it should be carried on the the national multiplex matching the coverage of FM. If means it be broadcast along with BBC Radio Wales & BBC Radio Ulster throughout the UK so be it, the listner can decide if he/she wishes to listen or not.

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Maurice's 13 posts GB flag
Friday, 14 December 2012

9:56 PM

you have missed south wiltshire salisbury area no local dab .north wiltshire has local dab

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david's 66 posts GB flag
david's: mapD's Freeview map terrainD's terrain plot wavesD's frequency data D's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Tuesday, 18 December 2012

6:05 PM

Perhaps the BBC is following the COM operators. It cannot pay celebrities managers-supreme, directors, newsreader-duos etc AND provide a service to all. The covert decision would appear to be to only provide DAB to population-dense areas. That would be absolutely fine (ignoring remunerations) as long as the BBC continued to provide an FM or AM service to ALL,at least as good as now, including local BBC radio.

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michael's 869 posts GB flag
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