Two new digital radio transmitters providing local DAB services have been switched on, marking the completion of a recent expansion in coverage.
The final transmitters in the expansion programme were switched on last week. Listeners in Edinburgh will be served by a new transmitter at Edinburgh Castle. A new transmitter at Fishguard will carry digital radio stations in Mid and West Wales.
New digital radio transmitters were switched on in Leicestershire, Cornwall and other parts of the UK as part of the initiative. The work was announced by the Government in 2015 and jointly funded by the DCMS, BBC and local DAB multiplex operators.
The Minister of State for Digital and the Creative Industries said the completion of the programme is a milestone for the radio industry’s transition to digital.
“This, along with the unprecedented choice of stations available on DAB, both nationally and locally, will see listeners continue to embrace the benefits of digital radio,” said Margot James MP.
Infrastructure provider Arqiva has been installing the new transmitters, which has doubled the size of the local DAB network. Coverage has increased from 72% to more than 90% of UK households with work being carried out at 221 transmitter sites.
In total an additional 10 million listeners should benefit from the improvements, providing access to local stations on DAB digital radio for the first time. More than 4,000 miles of roads which were previously not covered are also now served by local DAB services.
“The local DAB coverage expansion has been a hugely significant step in the UK’s digital transition, transforming the availability of local stations on DAB digital radio across the county,” said Ford Ennals, CEO Digital Radio UK.
“Great credit is due to the broadcasters, multiplex operators, DCMS, Ofcom and Arqiva for making it happen.”