Technology

BBC to expand digital radio coverage in the UK

MUMBAI: More than a million additional listeners will soon be able to receive BBC national digital radio services in the UK following further expansion of the digital radio transmission network.


The BBC is investing in a further 60 digital radio transmitters as part of its commitment to reach 90 per cent of the British population during the Charter period, by the end of 2011. This is the final part of a planned roll-out which started in 2008 and has already resulted in more than 50 additional transmitters being added to the network. The BBC‘s national digital radio coverage currently stands at around 86 per cent of the UK population. There are now more than 10 million DAB sets in the UK (GFK).
 
Listeners in the areas will be able to tune in to the BBC‘s portfolio of digital-only stations through its Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) as well as the BBC‘s existing national radio stations.


Transmitters will be added to bring coverage to areas without reception and to improve and reinforce reception where necessary. The plan includes 15 new transmitters for Scotland, 10 new transmitters for Wales, seven new transmitters for Northern Ireland, three new transmitters for Greater London and the Home Counties, and nine new transmitters for the south west.


BBC‘s Director of Audio and Music Tim Davie says, "The BBC is fully committed to digital radio. I‘m delighted that we are now in a position to deliver on the BBC Trust‘s target to bring digital radio to 90% of the UK." 
 
The BBC has five digital-only radio networks, all launched in 2002: 1Xtra offering black music, 5 Live Sports Extra which covers live sport, 6 Music offers contemporary and classic rock and pop, Radio 7 offers the best of BBC comedy, drama and books from the archive, and Asian Network which offers news and music from the British Asian scene.
Listeners can also receive Radios 1 to 5 Live on DAB, along with more than 30 of the BBC‘s English local radio and nations services.


Digital radio can transmit text and data with the audio signal. A small screen on digital radios carries rolling text telling listeners what music they are listening to, who is being interviewed, and giving phone numbers and e-mail and website addresses.


Digital radios are available from over 8,000 retail outlets across the UK and can also be bought on the internet.

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