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Sussex DAB retune to trigger coverage boost

BBC Sussex and other local DAB digital radio services are changing frequencies on the 9th December 2015, as part of a move to boost coverage of digital radio in the county.

Currently, local stations are broadcast on a multiplex designed to cover the Sussex Coast. Now this multiplex is being expanded to cover the north of the county as part of a drive by the radio industry and the Government to improve reception of digital radio.

In order to be able to do this, a frequency change, moving services across to a clear frequency for the whole county has been announced. The old frequency on VHF Block 11B is closing down from 10pm on Tuesday 8th December 2015. By 6:00am on Wednesday 9th December 2015, local DAB for Sussex will commence on VHF Block 10B.

What do I need to do?
If you are in Sussex and listen to the following stations on DAB digital radio, you will need to retune your DAB set on the 9th December and reset and pre-sets.
  • BBC Sussex
  • Capital 
  • Gaydio
  • Gold
  • Heart Sussex
  • heat radio
  • Pop Up Radio
  • Smile Sussex (mono feed|*)
  • Smooth Sussex
*there's a stereo feed of this station available to listeners in Brighton that isn't affected by the change.

Remember that if you use your DAB radio as a clock radio, it won't work on Wednesday 9th December if its set to tune to any of these stations due to the overnight frequency change.

FM services and national DAB services, alongside DAB stations broadcast from Surrey and London are unaffected by the retune, although there may be breaks in service affecting BBC National DAB during the frequency migration period.

Some DAB users in Sussex who can't currently receive these stations will be able to receive them from 9th December:

Coverage expansion
Following the frequency change, additional transmitters will go live. Test transmissions have taken place in recent weeks ahead of the changes, with listeners in the following areas able to benefit:
  • Newhaven, 
  • Heathfield, 
  • Crawley (from Little Prestwood Farm transmitter), 
  • Shoreham (from Truleigh Hill transmitter).

In January 2016, local DAB services for Sussex will added to the Midhurst transmitter. A transmitter serving Rye will go live in March 2016 with Horsham following in August 2016, completing the roll-out of local DAB across the whole of the county.