|Credit: Digital Radio UK|
The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, the recently appointed Minister of State for Digital and Culture and MP for West Suffolk, signalled the launch of four new digital radio transmitters in his home county bringing over 425,000 listeners across Suffolk their favourite local stations on DAB digital radio, at a special event at Ixworth CEVC Primary School near Bury St. Edmunds this morning.
Pressing the big green digital radio switch at 9.30am, the Minister officially launched the new transmitters for Suffolk listeners in front of pupils and staff from Ixworth CEVC Primary School and representatives and presenters from the six stations which are now available on local DAB digital radio in the county - BBC Radio Suffolk, Heart East Anglia, Smooth, Fun Kids, Chris Country, and a brand new station for the county, Suffolk First.
The symbolic switch-on followed last week's activatation of part of the new Suffolk DAB network, which has enabled some listeners to tune in ahead of the official launch ceremony.
Listeners across Suffolk are encouraged to retune their digital radios to receive the county’s local stations on DAB. The signal will reach around 80% of the county’s households at launch, with additional transmitters to increase coverage planned for the future.
Transmitters are located at Puttocks Hill, Mendlesham, Warren’s Heath and Felixstowe.
Retuning a DAB digital radio is a simple process. Listeners simply press the auto tune or auto scan button on their DAB digital radio or go to the menu and press auto tune. You do not need to know any frequency information. If this does not locate all services, then listeners are recommended to run a full scan. More information can be found at: www.getdigitalradio.com/retune, where listeners can also check local coverage, as some parts of Suffolk won't be able to receive the new services at launch.
A small number of old Goodmans DAB receivers won't be able to tune into the Suffolk DAB frequency.
Here's how the radio industry reacted to the multiplex launch:
Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, said:
“It's great to see the continued rollout of DAB digital radio across the UK. Suffolk is served by a good variety of local stations, and I'm delighted that a further 425,000 listeners across Suffolk will now be able to hear these important and well-loved stations on digital radio”
Pip Whiteside, Head teacher, Ixworth CEVC Primary, said:
“We are absolutely thrilled to have hosted such an exciting occasion for the county at our school and to have welcomed our local MP and Suffolk’s local stations. The pupils have loved the big green switch and finding out more about digital radio, especially a station that’s just for them.”
Peter Cook, Editor, BBC Radio Suffolk, said:
“This is wonderful news. We’ve waited a long time for local DAB to reach Suffolk and now it’s here it means there’s one more way that listeners can tune in to our local presenters, delivering the news, sport and fun that they love.”
Adam Newstead, Managing Editor, Heart East Anglia, said:
“Heart is the nation’s most popular commercial radio station and we are looking forward to bringing listeners in Suffolk more feel-good music on DAB digital radio.”
Michael Betton, CEO, LincsFM, said:
“We are delighted to be launching Suffolk First, a brand new station for Suffolk’s listeners, bringing them a mixture of country and contemporary music as well as local information for the county.”
Chris Stevens, Founder, Chris Country Radio, said:
“I’m absoutely thrilled to add Suffolk to the growing list of places in the UK that can now enjoy Chis Country’s 24-hour mix of American and British country music on DAB digital radio.”
Matt Deegan, Creative Director, Fun Kids, said:
“Today’s news means that kids across Suffolk will be able to tune into their only dedicated radio station - Fun Kids - and what better place to switch-on the new digital transmitters in Suffolk than Ixworth Primary School.”
Gregory Watson, Managing Director, MuxCo Suffolk, said:
“I am delighted that we have been able to bring local DAB digital radio to Suffolk. We’re proud of our role in expanding local DAB coverage and enabling new radio services to serve the county.”
Ford Ennals, CEO, Digital Radio UK, said:
“Suffolk has a great variety of local digital stations so it’s great news that a further 425,000 listeners will now be able to enjoy all their favourite local stations on DAB digital radio for the first time, as well as new stations broadening choice.”