BBC announces two year DAB transmitter roll out plan

updated The BBC's Alix Pryde has announced ambitious plans to expand the BBC National DAB multiplex to reach "49 out of 50" people in the UK.

Between now and and Christmas 2015, the network of BBC DAB transmitters will increase at a rate of up to three new transmitters a fortnight, with a total of 162 extra transmitters to increase coverage. The plan - which constitutes the fourth phase of DAB transmitter rollout for the broadcaster - will see coverage improve in both city centres including Coventry and rural areas including the Peak District and Dorset.

Alix Pryde said: "The first transmitter in this phase to come on-air will be for Basingstoke and we expect that to be in operation this side of Christmas. Arqiva is still working on the timetable and even when it is finalised, it will flex as project work at each site concludes, so we won't be publishing a detailed version. We will make sure that there is appropriate publicity in the relevant areas as new transmitters are switched on. We'll also keep the industry postcode checker up to date as we go."

The roll-out to just over 97% of the population was approved by the BBC Trust in May 2012. Last year, the BBC stated that it was struggling to increase coverage above the current 90% of the population due to self-interference due to the way a DAB single frequency network works. Transmitters located more than 74km away have the ability to cancel out signals from local transmitters. This is reportedly a big issue in East Anglia, where the terrain allows potentially interfering signals to travel further and where the BBC has had to carefully co-ordinate the locations and powers of the new transmitters.

BBC Local Radio is not covered by this roll-out. Local stations are carried by local commercial multiplex operators, who are currently separately rolling out services across the UK, with BBC Radio Gloucestershire becoming the next BBC Local Radio station to formally launch on DAB when the Gloucestershire DAB multiplex operated by MuxCo goes live on the 18th October 2013.

ROLL OUT PLAN  with locations (where confirmed*):

*According to Alix Pryde, the BBC is "still finalising the exact specifics [of the locations of transmitter sites] but below is a summary of the areas we're looking to serve in this phase of the network."

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
Port St Mary 

updated from 11:13
Share on Google Plus


  1. Great news! Means giving time, I can drive all the way from Stamford to Glasgow and have my car DAB radio on most of the way :).

  2. If only Digital One would match the BBC's coverage for their extensive range of lo-fi mono channels.


IMPORTANT: This post is open for comments for a limited period (usually 14 days) following its upload date. You can comment with a Google Account (e.g. for G+, Gmail, YouTube, Google Play)
Comment not appearing? Comments may be subject to moderation and as such may not immediately appear on the site - comments will wait in the moderation queue until they are processed. Check back later. (Comments submitted anonymously may fail the spam filters.)

Please note: Some types of comments may be removed at the discretion of a516digital. With freedom of speech comes responsibility: Keep it clean, civil and on-topic! See the "About this website" section (link at the foot of the page) for full terms and conditions about what is and what isn't acceptable on this site.