Arqiva, the UK communications infrastructure company, has announcd that phase 4 of the BBC National DAB roll out has now completed, with the switching on of a new transmitter at Fakenham in North Norfolk.
Phase 4 has seen an additional 163 sites deployed across the UK to deliver the BBC’s national radio services, including those services only available digitally. This phase has added over 400,000 households (approx. 900,000 people) to the network and provided coverage on over 2,400km of motorways and A-roads. Overall population coverage for BBC National DAB has been increased from 93 per cent to 97.6 per cent as a result.
Paul Sexton, client director for the BBC at Arqiva, said: “Turning on the final Phase 4 site is a significant milestone for Arqiva and for the BBC. Digital platforms now account for almost half of all radio listening in the UK and we are proud to play our part in delivering the roll out of the DAB network in the UK. As well as providing BBC National DAB coverage to nearly half a million extra households, the fact that we are covering more and more of the road network is equally important. DAB radio offers listeners more station choice and real time information on programmes. The completion of this network expansion will enable more people than ever to enjoy the BBC’s national DAB network.”
Kieran Clifton, Director, Distribution & Business Development, BBC, said: “This expansion has brought the BBC’s digital radio services to areas of the British Isles previously without access to digital radio via DAB – places like Machynlleth in mid Wales, Guernsey, Ramsey on the Isle of Man, the Isle of Skye, and the Calder Valley in West Yorkshire. We’ve also reinforced coverage in major towns and cities: Aberdeen, Coventry, Eastbourne, Glasgow, and Leicester, to name just a small selection.”
Digital radio listeners in many more areas can now enjoy the additional choice that digital radio brings, including BBC’s portfolio of digital-only stations including 1Xtra, 5 live sports extra, 6 Music, Radio 4 Extra, the Asian Network and World Service, as well as the BBC’s existing national radio stations – Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 3, Radio 4, Radio 5 live.