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Digital Broadcasting: Radio

Question for Department for Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 10122, tabled on 14 September 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of DAB radio reception in Scotland; and what steps his Department has taken to improve poor reception in areas receiving low-quality coverage.

Answered on

12 October 2015

The Government is working with the radio industry to improve digital radio coverage for listeners across the UK. DCMS, the BBC and commercial radio are jointly funding the long term expansion of the local DAB network with the building of 182 new digital transmitters across Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland and technical/frequency changes at a further 49 existing local DAB sites by the end of September 2016. As a result of this new investment, according to the independent communications regulator Ofcom, it is expected that local DAB coverage in Scotland will increase from 65% to 86% of households.

Ofcom has published detailed maps outlining the improvements to local DAB coverage for the local digital radio multiplex areas in Scotland and these are available at:http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/broadcasting/radio/coverage/dab-coverage-plans/

Separately the BBC is rolling out its national DAB network to a further 163 transmitter sites across the UK, scheduled for completion by the end of 2015. This programme will increase the coverage of its DAB network in Scotland from 91% to 95% of homes.

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