LONDON�The U.K. Government is about to announce details of an expansion of local DAB that will include 182 new transmitters across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, reports radiotoday.com.
The plan will also allow modifications to 49 other existing sites, and will increase the coverage of local stations on DAB from 76% of the population to 91.2% within 18 months. The first new transmitters will be built in March 2015 and the program will complete by September 2016. In total, nearly 40,000km of roads will be covered by the local DAB signals.
The project will be jointly funded by the commercial mux operators (Arquiva and MuxCo), the Government and the BBC, and is a result of the signing of the local DAB Memorandum of Understanding in June 2012. The MoU identified 13 local DAB multiplexes that were due to be launched. In the last two years, 12 new local DAB multiplexes have been launched with Lincolnshire scheduled to launch in mid-2015.
�We welcome this landmark agreement and the benefits of providing local radio stations on DAB to millions of households and thousands of miles of roads and motorways,� said Ford Enalls, CEO of DRUK. �This is excellent news for listeners and reflects the commitment from broadcasters and DCMS to delivering a digital future for UK radio. It also means that the Government''s coverage criteria for a radio switchover will have been met by the end of 2016.�