Digital Radio Boost In Time For Afc Bournemouth’s Premier League Kick Off

On Friday 7 August, 2015 new digital radio transmitters were switched on in Dorset by Arqiva, bringing local digital radio to over 100,000 listeners for the first time and boosting the digital signal for many others

For local listeners, the digital boost came just in time to hear AFC Bournemouth kick off their Premier League debut.

Listeners in the Bournemouth and Poole area have received a boost to their signal, and residents in Dorchester and Weymouth can now tune into their favourite local stations – BBC Radio Solent, Wave 105, Heart, Capital, Smooth, XFM and Fire Radio – on DAB digital radio. Almost 54% of homes in the Bournemouth area have a DAB digital radio, and 41% of radio listening hours are on digital platforms. Until now many listeners in Dorset have not been able to receive any of their great local stations via DAB digital radio.

The new transmitters are part of an industry and Government programme of work that aims to expand the coverage and listening to DAB digital radio. National BBC DAB coverage has been increased to 96% of the population and the Government, BBC and commercial radio has agreed plans to build a further 182 local DAB transmitters to extend local DAB coverage, to more than 90% of the population. This will make DAB available to an additional eight million listeners across the UK and add over 6,700 km of roads into coverage. The programme of work is expected to complete by the end of 2016 and further areas will see coverage boosted and expanded this autumn.

BBC Radio Solent commentator Kris Temple said: “We’re very excited for Cherries fans across the county, who are now more able to hear our passionate commentary of their local Premier League team. For over forty years BBC Radio Solent has been at the heart of live local sport, and we’re incredibly proud of what AFC Bournemouth has achieved and look forward to every kick of every game on Dorset DAB in this coming season.” 

Paul Eaton, Director of Digital Radio, Arqiva, commented: “I am delighted that the local DAB coverage expansion programme is finally underway and we look forward to playing our part in expanding local DAB coverage to the level of commercial radio FM coverage .“ 

Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy, said: “I welcome the big switch-on in Dorset and wish BBC Radio Solent and the excellent local commercial radio stations great success on DAB. We believe that that the future of radio is digital and are pleased to play our part in supporting the major expansion of DAB digital radio coverage across the UK.”