Some news about our Gloucestershire and Herefordshire & Worcestershire multiplexes.
We have been backwards and forwards a bit with these multiplexes. They were initially advertised and awarded as two separate areas. We then explored with Ofcom the opportunity to simulcast a mutiplex across two areas, which, in the early years, would provide the best coverage of local listeners’ favourite stations.
Since then, as part of Ofcom’s digital radio working group, we’ve been working on both the launch configuration and also the roll-out plan of more transmitters across the licence term. Whilst doing this work, it was announced that MXR would be handing back many of their licences over the next two years. This has now prompted Ofcom to re-distribute MXR frequencies to some local multiplexes.
This has meant another re-plan of our networks as new frequencies change the interference we will generate and also receive from other networks.
We have therefore decided to launch two separate multiplexes, with separate line-ups.
The Gloucestershire multiplex is currently scheduled to begin test transmissions in June this year. The Herefordshire and Worcestershire multiplex is going to use the MXR West Midlands frequency (and indeed their Bromsgrove transmitter) so will launch at a point shortly after their licence has been handed back to Ofcom. We expect our tests to start in September 2013.