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Somerset DAB change approved

A frequency change for the soon-to-launch local DAB service for Somerset has been approved by Ofcom following a brief consultation.

The local DAB multiplex has been given permission to launch later this month on VHF Block 10B, instead of Block 10D, where it will broadcast five local stations, including BBC Somerset, Capital FM, Heart Somerset, Smooth Radio and a new service from Triple Hits.

The BBC Reception website has details of how listeners in the area can retune their DAB digital radio to listen to BBC Somerset when it launches on DAB on the 26th September 2014.

The service will broadcast from transmitters at Hutton, Mendip and Taunton. Multiplex operator MuxCo has provided an updated coverage map showing coverage at launch, which shows that the most of the main population centres in Somerset will be able to tune in on a DAB radio. There are still notable reception gaps in the west of the county, towards Exmoor and in the north east around Frome.

Only one consultation response was received by Ofcom, with a concern that the frequency change could affect reception of the Oxfordshire local DAB service, which uses the same frequency. Ofcom confirmed that there would be no co-channel interference. Thanks to terrain between Somerset and Oxfordshire, plus directional transmission patterns, very little of the Somerset DAB signal will spill out of the county, with most of the signal overspill disappearing before reaching Bristol.

updated: 18:00 11/09/2014