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DAB Digital Radio Coverage Maps
British Isles: BBC DAB - Digital One - Local Multiplexes

BBC NATIONAL DAB Multiplex Coverage Map - as of end 2011:


BBC NATIONAL DAB Multiplex Coverage Map - as of end 2011
BBC NATIONAL DAB Multiplex Coverage Map - as of end 2011


The BBC and commercial operators are gradually adding DAB transmitters to the national BBC and Digital One national networks to expand coverage as far as is economically viable. 

While the BBC's national VHF/FM radio transmitter networks enjoy approximately 98% population coverage, it is likely to be some years bef re their DAB coverage reaches this figure. However [in 2009] the authorities stated aim was to switch off all national FM transmitters by around 2015, suggesting that full nationwide coverage should be achieved by the DAB network by this time

Economics plays a more important factor in the currently under-utilised commercial Digital One network, so it is unlikely that D1 will  be able to attain the almost universal (98%) coverage that would seem to be the aim of the BBC. Due to the laws of dimishing returns; further expensive transmitters would cover increasingly smaller areas of population to a point that, for DAB, the cost of coverage per head of population becomes economically unjustifiable.

In 2005 Ofcom released an additional frequency block in VHF Band III for a further national DAB multiplex.  The licence to operate this second national DAB multiplex
was advertised in 2007 and later won by a Channel Four Television consortium. However by 2009 the economic downturn had made the business model financially unviable and Channel Four were forced to hand back the second national DAB licence to Ofcom, so for the time being there will not be a second national DAB multiplex.

It may be the case the licence for the second national DAB multiplex could be advertised at some point in the future.

The first national commercial DAB transmitter network,
Digital One, was initally owned and operated by a consortium that included GWR and NTL. GWR and Capital Radio later merged to form GCap. In 2008 GCap decided that the ownership of the national DAB radio transmission network did not fit in with the new group's strategy. and the ownership of the D1 network passed to the UK's major transission provider Arqiva. (GCap itself and Chrysalis Radio were later subsumed ito the Global Radio group in the continuing conolidation of commercial radio to form Global Radio).

During 2010 Arqiva were very proactive and filled the, almost empty, national DAB multiplex with many new radio services.


In 2005 Ofcom also released a further three frequency blocks for expansion of local DAB multiplexes to provide almost universal coverage in areas already served by major commercial local radio stations.

Note: BBC local radio does not have its own multiplex. BBC local radio stations are carried on the local commercial radio multiplexes by agreement.  Therefore in those areas that do not yet have a local commercial DAB multiplex, there can be no coverage for BBC local radio.

During 2010 the BBC, using transmission facilities contractor Arqiva, continued installing many new DAB transmitters at sites across the UK to improve the coverage of the BBC's national DAB network:

3rd December 2010: Wrotham, Kent
2nd December 2010: Carnmoney Hill, County Antrim, Belfast
30th November 2010: Tiverton, Devon
29th November 2010: Littleborough, Rochdale
27th November 2010: Tully Quarry, Northern Ireland
11th November 2010: North Hessary Tor, Dartmoor, Devon
10th November 2010: Maddybenny More, Northern Ireland
9th November 2010: Bridport, Dorset
29 October 2010: Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
28 October 2010: Larne, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
1 October 2010: Rosneath, Argyll and Bute
17 September 2010: Drumcarrow Craig, Fife
15 September 2010: Millburn Muir, Dumbarton
14 September 2010: Tay Bridge, Dundee
15 July 2010: Corby, Kettering
13 July 2010: Mendlesham, Suffolk
14 April 2010: Balgownie, Aberdeen
25 March 2010: Mormond Hill, Aberdeenshire
5 March 2010: Grantown, Morayshire
3 March 2010: Kingussie, Inverness-shire

Visit the BBC's DAB Digital Radio Transmitters Page on the BBC Recption Advice pages here...


DIGITAL ONE National Multiplex Coverage Map - as of 2010:

D1 - Digital One coverage map - 2010
DIGITAL ONE National Multiplex Coverage Map - as of 2010



The BBC's Future National DAB Target Coverage for 97% UK Population 99% of the time
The BBC's Future National DAB Target Coverage for 97% UK Population 99% of the time
Detailed information about BBC DAB expansion plans here: dab-coverage-planning.pdf


CASE STUDIES:

In June 2011 I was asked if I could provide some simple radiation patterns / polar diagrams for a selection of DAB transmitters in South Wales and parts of South West England. The specific sites were Caradon Hill, Huntshaw Cross, Presely, Carmel, Kilvey Hill and Wenvoe. View the results here >


HISTORICAL:

BBC National Multiplex Coverage Map 2006:


BBC National DAB Coverage 2006
Above:  BBC National DAB Radio coverage in 2006


Commercial National (Digital One / D1) DAB Coverage Map 2009:

Digital One national DAB coverage in 2009
Above:  Digital One National DAB Coverage as in 2009


Map Showing The Commercial Local Multiplexes Operating By 2005:
[Note: These commercial multiplexes are obliged by Ofcom to carry the BBC LOCAL RADIO station(s) in their area]


LOCAL  DAB  MULTIPLEXES  LICENCED  UP  UNTIL  2005

ADDITIONAL DAB COVERAGE AREAS

Apart from the coloured areas shown on the map, additional local DAB coverage is also provided, or will soon be provided in the following areas:  Cornwall, Plymouth, Reading & Basingstoke, Nottingham, East Sussex,  Great Yarmouth,  Cardigan Bay,  Montgomery,  Colwyn Bay,  Carlisle,  West Cumbria,  Dumfies & South West Scotland and The Borders.

There are many "white" areas on the map where, under the original plan, there were no spare frequencies available for local DAB coverage.  This situation was resolved in 2005 when the government and Ofcom released additional spectrum space in VHF Band III for further DAB expansion. This comprises three additional frequency blocks.  These 'white' areas include Northamptonshire, North Devon, Hereford and Worcester, Somerset,  Gloucestershire, North Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, South West Wales, North Wales, Lincolnshire,  Shropshire, Western Scotland and Northern Ireland

Ofcom have also allocated an additional VHF Band III frequency block to provide one extra national commercial DAB multiplex.

More about DAB Radio - HERE Links to more DAB Information - HERE
NOTE ABOUT LOCAL MULTIPLEXES NOW ON AIR:  In addition to the solid areas marked on the above map, the following areas have now had their local multiplexes switched on:

Cornwall 11B - NOW Cornwall;  Plymouth 12A - NOW Plymouth;  Reading 12D - NOW Reading & Basingstoke; 
Nottingham 12C - NOW Nottingham.  All now on air.


Local multiplexes have also been authorised for East Sussex,  Great Yarmouth,  Cardigan Bay,  Montgomery,  Colwyn Bay,  Carlisle,  West Cumbria,  Dumfies & South West Scotland and The Borders and will subsequently come on air after the usual Ofcom advertisement and awards procedures. 

The map above shows the licencing structure up to 2005 and takes advantage of all the spectrum space (frequencies) that had been made available by the government / Ofcom in V.H.F. Band III  for DAB radio at that time.  Three additional frequency blocks approved by the government / Ofcom in 2005 in the V.H.F. Band III will allow more local services (multiplexes) to be added, and thereby filling in many of the "white areas" that until then had been left with no prospect of a local DAB multiplex - which carry both local commercial stations and the BBC Local Radio station(s) in the area:

Ofcom has begun licencing the additional local multiplexes from 2006 onwards.  This will provide virtually universal coverage of local DAB broadcasting.

The 'white' areas that include Northamptonshire, North Devon, Hereford and Worcester, Somerset,  Gloucestershire, North Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, South West Wales, North Wales, Lincolnshire,  Shropshire, Western Scotland and Northern Ireland

Ofcom have also allocated an additional VHF Band III frequency block to provide one extra national commercial DAB multiplex that may have similar coverage to the existing commercial national  multiplex operator, Digital One.


Click to view DAB DIGITAL RADIO PAGE 



MORE RADIO LINKS:

Radio Links Page





Digital One National DAB Coverage 2006
Above:  Digital One National DAB Coverage as in 2006



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