Expanding the UK’s local DAB transmission network

We’re responsible for the delivery of a major cross-industry programme to double the size of the UK’s local commercial DAB network.

Over 6700km of roads previously not served by local DAB services will now be covered.

Over 6700km of roads previously not served by local DAB services will now be covered.

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The project

In January 2015 the DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) announced their plan to expand the UK’s local DAB transmission network to move towards commercial ILR FM equivalence[i]. The local DAB network is being doubled with 182 new transmitters nationally across England, Scotland and Wales.

The programme also involves modifications at 49 sites taking the coverage of local DAB from c.70% to over 90%. Over 6700km of roads previously not served by local DAB services will now also be covered.

We are responsible for the planning and delivery of this roll-out programme. It affects almost every local DAB network operator and is co-ordinated centrally by our Projects and Engineering teams.

This programme is jointly funded by the DCMS, BBC and local DAB multiplex operators.

Experience

We have significant experience in the build out of DAB networks, having designed, built and now operating all three national DAB networks and 98% of the local DAB networks in the UK.

We built out the network for the second national commercial multiplex for Sound Digital which launched in Spring 2016. We are also responsible for the expansion of the BBC national network, which has increased the network’s coverage to over 97% of the UK population.

Current status

This programme is nearing completion with all sites due to be completed by mid-2017 significantly expanding the UK’s local DAB coverage.


[i] Defined as coverage on local DAB which Ofcom has assessed is broadly equivalent to the existing FM coverage of the largest local commercial radio station in each multiplex area.

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