Major digital radio retune for Norwich
9 SEPTEMBER 2015: This morning all digital radio listeners in the Norwich area were urged to retune their DAB digital radios at a special retune event at the Lord Mayor’s Parlour at the Civic Office in order to expand and improve DAB digital radio coverage for hundreds of thousands of listeners in the area.
Lord Mayor of Norwich, Councillor Brenda Arthur, pressed the big green retune switch at 8.45am, marking the moment for listeners to retune their DAB digital radios whilst simultaneously turning on two new digital transmitters which will bring local BBC and commercial stations - BBC Radio Norfolk, Heart Norfolk, Smooth Norfolk and The Beach - to 100,000 more listeners in the Norwich area for the first time.
Lord Mayor of Norwich, Councillor Brenda Arthur, said: “Norwich is served by a great variety of established local stations. I am delighted that now even more listeners in Norwich will be able to hear these important and well-loved stations on digital radio and encourage everyone to retune their radios this morning.”
The retune is part of a programme of work that will expand and boost the digital radio signal in Norwich and the surrounding area for over 200,000 listeners in the next 9 months, and will immediately expand coverage to over 100,000 listeners to the North East and West of Norwich, whilst enabling the launch of four further transmitters in the Spring for East and South Norfolk.
As a result of the digital boost, all listeners to DAB digital radio in the Norwich area need to retune their DAB radios today to be able to continue to receive their favourite local DAB stations. Retuning will enable those listeners in the new expansion areas to receive these local radio stations on DAB for the first time, including BBC Radio Norfolk’s commentary of Norwich City Premier League matches starting with Saturday’s clash with Bournemouth.
Retuning a DAB digital radio is a simple process. Listeners simply press the auto tune or auto scan button on their DAB digital radio or go into the radio’s menu and press auto tune. For more information go to http://www.getdigitalradio.com/dab-news/retune
Additionally, seven new trial DAB digital stations launched their test transmissions today serving the city of Norwich and will be available for the next 9 months. The trial DAB station line up for the city of Norwich includes community stations Future Radio 107.8 and Future Plus, Norwich 99.9, Jazz FM, CDNX, Solar Radio and Totally Radio. These stations are being broadcast on digital DAB for 9 months commencing on 14th September, as part of a trial being conducted by media regulator Ofcom and will cover the city of Norwich.
Digital radio in the Norwich area is very popular with 54% of all households having a DAB digital radio but until now many households have been unable to receive the strong local digital station line up. The new Norwich transmitters, which have been built by communications infrastructure company, Arqiva, are part of an industry and Government programme of work that aims to expand the coverage and listening to DAB digital radio. 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 which will bring eight million listeners across the UK into coverage and will add over 6,700 km of roads. National BBC DAB coverage has been increased to 96% of the population and the BBC are building additional national digital transmitters in the West Norfolk and Kings Lynn area later this year.
Ford Ennals, CEO Digital Radio UK, said: “We are delighted that today over 100,000 more listeners will be able to enjoy their favourite local stations on DAB digital radio for the first time and we urge all listeners in Norwich to retune their DAB radios to ensure they don’t miss out on the great range of services available to them in Norwich.”
Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy, said: “I welcome the big retune in Norwich and wish BBC Radio Norfolk and the excellent local commercial radio stations great success on DAB. We believe 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.”
David Clayton, Editor, BBC Radio Norfolk, said: “BBC Radio Norfolk has been a major part of life in the county for 35 years now and our coverage of local news, sport and local life is second to none. We’re encouraging our current DAB listeners to retune in order to keep listening to all of our programmes on DAB, especially the Canaries fans who can tune in to hear our live commentary when Norwich City play Bournemouth this weekend.”
Mike Stonard, Managing Director of Future Digital Norfolk, said: “By retuning their DAB digital radios this morning many listeners in Norwich City will receive seven additional services that we’re delighted to be launching today for a 9 month trial. We’re thrilled to be part of the trial and bringing greater choice including small stations and community services to the people of Norwich on DAB.”
Paul Eaton, Director of Digital Radio, Arqiva, said: “I am delighted that the local DAB coverage expansion programme is continuing with Norwich being the latest area to receive a digital boost. We look forward to playing our part in expanding local DAB coverage to the level of commercial radio FM coverage.”