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DAB Update: Stoke station changes; BBC 1950s pop-up

Just three services look set to be left on local DAB in Stoke at the end of the month, when three stations are scheduled to leave the digital radio multiplex.

Kisstory, Heat and UCB2 will cease broadcasting on local DAB in and around The Potteries at midnight from the 29th to the 30th April, as part of a wider phased migration of services from local DAB to the new Sound Digital operated Digital 2 multiplex, according to a multiplex change request document filed on the Ofcom website earlier today.

Parts of the area covered by the Stoke DAB multiplex are also covered by Sound Digital, thanks to a transmitter located at Alsagers Bank and overlapping reception from the Sutton Coldfield transmitter, meaning the stations are currently duplicated.

The move will leave Stoke local DAB with just three services: BBC Radio Stoke, Signal 1 and Signal 2, putting it on a par with the Lincolnshire local DAB multiplex and just ahead of the Gloucestershire multiplex, currently with four services.

Since the end of February, a number of stations that have taken up new slots on the Digital 2 / Sound Digital DAB multiplex have been gradually switching off their output on local DAB multiplexes, meaning listeners are required to retune to continue listening. This has caused controversy as Sound Digital only covers 75% of the UK, leaving some on the verge of losing their favourite station on DAB. For some stations, the switch from local DAB to Sound Digital constitutes a coverage boost, depending on how many local multiplexes they were originally distributed on.

BBC Radio 2 50s
Next week, BBC Radio 2 will be broadcasting a temporary pop-up station on DAB digital radio featuring the tunes of the 1950s. The station launches on Thursday 14th April 2016 and will run through to the end of Sunday. The station will feature hosts including Len Goodman and Chris Evans and forms part of a season of programming across the BBC exploring that era.  During BBC Radio 2 50s time on air, some other BBC stations on national DAB will run at reduced bitrates and the 7 day EPG will be temporarily unavailable.

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