DAB Digital Radio Boost for Surrey
Today Sir Paul Beresford MP for Mole Valley officially switched on three new DAB digital radio transmitters, giving nearly 800,000 listeners new local stations on DAB in the Surrey area. The switch-on which took place at the iconic Epsom Racecourse means listeners will be ready to receive four local radio stations - BBC Surrey and 96.4 Eagle Radio, alongside new stations eagle3 and Redstone FM for the first time on DAB digital radio.
To receive the new services, listeners with digital radios may have to re-tune their sets. Find out more by clicking here.
The three new transmitters at Guildford, Reigate and Crystal Palace take local digital radio coverage for these stations from zero to almost 800,000 listeners in the area, and add over 660km of roads into DAB coverage for the first time.
Sir Paul Beresford MP said: "Surrey is way ahead on digital radio, with over half of us having a digital radio at home. I welcome these new DAB transmitters which mean that our excellent local radio stations can now be received on digital radio at home and in-car."
Gregory Watson, Managing Director of MuxCo said: "Muxco Surrey is a joint venture with UKRD Group. We are extremely excited to be working with UKRD to launch this multiplex, which will deliver a mix of existing and new digital-only radio services, such as Redstone FM and Eagle 3, in digital quality to 800,000 listeners in Surrey. We are in discussion with a number of operators that will enable further new services to launch during 2014."
William Rogers, Chief Executive of UKRD said: "It's a further exciting step for our operation based in Guildford that they are launching digital only service eagle3 on the Surrey DAB multiplex and it represents a further step forward in broadening the offering we are providing for listeners and advertisers alike".
Des Shepherd, Chief Executive of Redstone FM said: "It's great that Redstone FM will be available to listeners on DAB for the first time, bringing local news and music to our listeners, with the digital benefits of easy tuning and scrolling information."
Sara David, Editor of BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey said: "We are delighted that BBC Surrey will be available on DAB for the first time. It brings improved reception to many parts of the county and gives us the opportunity to offer our full range of programmes in digital quality. As well as our radio programmes, the latest news, sport weather and travel information will also scroll across listeners DAB radio sets."
Jane Ostler, Director of Digital Radio UK, said: "This is great news for almost 800,000 people in Surrey as until now they have not been able to receive their favourite local stations on DAB. Boosting coverage for this area means listeners can tune into their favourite local stations as well as national BBC and commercial stations."
In the last 18 months, local DAB coverage has been improved for over 8 million people in the UK, increasing local DAB population coverage from 66% to 72%. By the end of this year, local DAB will have been made available to an additional 6.5 million listeners across the UK.
In Surrey, 55% of homes have a DAB digital radio - ahead of the UK as a whole, and in Q3 2013, 35.6% of radio listening was digital. A cumulative total of 18 million digital radio sets has been sold to date in the UK, including DAB radios and internet radios. 41.6% of new cars now come fitted with digital radio as standard (CAP/SMMT Oct 2013).