‘BBC working to improve DAB radio reception across County Down’ – Clarke

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Wednesday, December 18th, 2013
Alliance Newcastle Councillor Patrick Clarke has welcomed written confirmation that the BBC is currently working to improve the discrepancy between BBC’s national network coverage of DAB radio reception and that of local BBC DAB radio services in County Down and other parts of Northern Ireland. Councillor Clarke had written to both OFCOM and the BBC back in October following complaints received from constituents experiencing very poor digital radio reception on DAB radios. Clarke told Newry Times, “I had received a number of complaints from constituents regarding very poor digital radio reception on DAB radios. “Constituents had outlined to me that digital radio reception from the national BBC Radio channels such as BBC Radio 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Live, and BBC World Service have very good digital radio reception on DAB radios. “However the complaints I received are regarding a very poor digital radio reception for BBC Radio Ulster on DAB radios which is one of the most popular radio stations in Northern Ireland,” he explained. “The BBC have now confirmed to me that due to the BBC having a UK-wide DAB multiplex licence from Ofcom to broadcast its network services such as BBC Radio 1, Radio 2, etc, the BBC therefore can determine where and when transmitters are built and the associated national coverage. “The BBC UK-wide DAB multiplex is broadcast using a single frequency and, as such, all the content within that multiplex has to be the same across the whole of the UK. However the BBC local DAB radio services are carried on a matrix of commercially operated multiplexes that are granted under licence by Ofcom. “In Northern Ireland, BBC Radio Ulster is carried on the Bauer commercial multiplex. As capacity on the network is provided by a commercial company, the BBC has no overall control over the transmitters used or the resulting coverage by that commercial multiplex,” he added.  
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