Category Archives: somerset

December Changes

A few changes to the networks before Christmas – one station change and two transmitter additions.

Yesterday (1st December) we re-added Chris Country to the Wrexham, Chester and Liverpool multiplex. The station was inundated with comments from listeners when it came off earlier in the year, so we’re pleased to be able to have added it back on.

After the 9th December we’ll be adding two new transmitters to the network.

In Somerset we’ll be adding Coker Hill which will help to cover Yeovil better and in Suffolk we’ll be adding Felixstowe to the network.

As always with transmitter additions, dates are difficult to to know exactly as there’s lots of inter-related factors, as well as the vagaries of the British weather!



Somerset Multiplex Launches

This morning we launched our 6th DAB Digital Radio multiplex – this time for Somerset.

Here’s the press release:

Today at the Somerset County Cricket Club Ground in Taunton, Dave Durdan, Mayor of Taunton Deane, officially switched on new DAB digital radio transmitters, giving over 500,000 listeners new local stations on DAB in the Somerset area. The switch-on means listeners will be able to receive five local radio stations – BBC Somerset, Heart, Capital, Smooth Radio and Triple Hits for the first time on DAB digital radio.

To receive the new services, listeners with digital radios may have to retune their sets. Find out more at

The big switch-on took place at Somerset County Cricket Club in Taunton. There are three new transmitters launching at Mendip, Taunton and Hutton. Once these transmitters have been switched on, local DAB digital radio coverage for these stations will go from zero to over 71% of households in the area, and they will add over 580km of roads into local DAB coverage for the first time.

Last year the build-out of DAB digital radio brought local DAB coverage to over five million people for the first time, taking local DAB population coverage from 66% to 72%. By the end of 2016, a further 200 local DAB transmitters will have been built making DAB available to an additional eight million listeners across the UK. This will extend coverage to more than 90% of the population and add over 6,700 km of roads into coverage.

The BBC buildout of 162 new digital radio transmitters to improve national DAB coverage for its national network stations is already underway to improve coverage from 94% to 97%.

In Somerset, 44% of the population have access to a DAB digital radio, and in Q2 2014, 37% of radio listening hours are to digital platforms. A cumulative total of over 19 million digital radio sets has been sold to date in the UK. 55% of new cars now come fitted with digital radio as standard (CAP/SMMT July 2014).

Dave Durdan, Mayor of Taunton Deane, said: “I welcome the switch-on of these local stations on DAB in Somerset for the first time – local radio is important and well-loved.”

Jane Ostler, Director of Digital Radio UK, said: “This is great news for over 500,000 people in Somerset as until now they have not been able to receive local stations on DAB. Boosting coverage for this area means listeners can tune into their favourite local stations on DAB for the first time.”

Gareth Cottier-Jansen of Triple MuxCo said: “In Somerset around 44% of households have a DAB radio and our new transmitters will enable them to hear their favourite local stations without having to switch back to FM or AM, plus brand new stations for the county. Favourite stations and new choices – that’s good for all.  Our investment in local radio is also enhanced by our own new station ‘Triple Hits’ extending the listener choice.”

Paul Andrew, Regional Managing Editor Heart Bristol and Somerset, said: “We’re excited  to bring Heart, Smooth and Capital to digital radio in Somerset. We know our listeners love the great music we play, and now they can listen in digital quality.”

Tamsin Curnow, Managing Editor of BBC Somerset said: “We are delighted that BBC Somerset will be available on DAB for the first time. We know that many of our listeners have been looking forward to this and we hope that new listeners will take the opportunity to tune in too.”

Press Coverage:


Somerset Launch Preparations

Here at MuxCo HQ we’re gearing up for the next multiplex launch – Somerset.

We’ve just started test transmissions on two of our three transmitters – Taunton and Hutton. These consist of a ‘barker’ giving details about the launch. We’ll add these test broadcasts to our third transmitter – Mendip – early next week.

Sometime in that week (edit: actually early next week now) it’s likely we’ll continue tests and use some live or presented audio from our service providers. Like all tests, this is susceptible to interruption.

The official launch of the multiplex will then be on Friday 26th September at around 8.30am.

Somerset Frequency Change

Last week Ofcom initiated a consultation on our frequency change request for the Somerset multiplex.

To be honest, it’s not really our request. As part of the work we’re doing with commercial radio, the BBC, Ofcom and the Government, analysis has been carried out to judge what the right frequencies are to ensure all the local and national multiplexes can have the most robust coverage. So, as this increases robustness for us, and others, we’ve sent in the request.

The change we’ve asked for is a frequency shift for this multiplex from 10D to 10B.

If everything goes to plan with the consultation we would hope that test transmissions for the Somerset multiplex will start at the beginning of September.

Call for Ramadan Services for DAB

We are interested in hearing from anyone who would like to operate a Ramadan service on the following DAB multiplexes during June and July 2014:

Interested parties are invited to answer this questionnaire, after which we will discuss opportunities to contract for capacity for up to 28 days on each available multiplex.

Please fill in the questionnaire by 5pm on 31st March 2014

All contracts for capacity are subject to the availability of suitable capacity on each multiplex.  If there are multiple expressions of interest, and more demand for capacity than is available, we will select services on the basis of ability to enter a standard carriage contract rather than first come basis.

We intend to notify interest parties in April.

Any questionnaire submissions that are received after the date specified above, will still be considered for a licence, but subject to capacity availability.

The fee to broadcast on any of the multiplexes will be £2,000+VAT for the 28 days, subject to contract, and you will be required to get your signal to the multiplex centre (which we can describe in more detail after submission of the form).

All successful service providers are reminded that they will need to hold the necessary DSP licence from Ofcom and comply with the requirements of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code, in particular if they wish to broadcast charity appeals and must take reasonable steps to satisfy itself that the charity appeal organisation concerned can produce satisfactory evidence of charitable status, or, in the case of an emergency appeal, that a responsible public fund has been set up to deal with it.   Further details can be found at:

If you have any questions about this opportunity please contact [email protected]

November Planning Meeting

Planning Meeting

A blurry camera phone picture of Gregory from MuxCo (left) and David Peters from Arqiva (right) at today’s planning meeting.

We have these catch-ups every month to review current projects and to plan further multiplexes. In the picture, Gregory is looking at one of many potential options for the North West Wales multiplex.

This month the big topics were the progress on Gloucester’s next two transmitters, our Bromsgrove transmitter for Herefordshire & Worcestershire and installations for Surrey. Surrey is looking good at the moment and we’re in the process of rolling out contingencies in Gloucestershire and H&W as we continue to be let down by BT. All should hopefully be on this year, before Arqiva’s network freeze at Christmas.

Looking to future multiplexes we spent some time exploring the various options for North Wales and the cost-implications of decisions in Somerset.

Somerset Awarded to MuxCo

Ofcom has just called Gregory to say that we’ve been successful with our application for the Somerset DAB Digital Radio multiplex. This is good news for MuxCo and its local partners who can now more easily make the transition to DAB. It also means that new stations and services will be able to start broadcasting on digital radio in a cost-effective manner.

We’ve also submitted today our application for North Wales, the details of which i’ll try and put up online for tomorrow.

Surrey & Sussex Won and Somerset Submitted

Sorry for the late update about our win yesterday for Surrey and Sussex, but we’ve been buys finishing off our application for Somerset, which i’ve just submitted. Thankfully Will at Ofcom‘s told me that they’ve received it (you’re never quite sure if it might disappear into the black whole of the internet when you hit send on the email) which means I can finish writing up the pages for the website.

Somerset’s been an interesting one to do, it’s a relatively small multiplex and a quite a few of the stations have small but specific coverage areas. It’s something that’s meant we have to work really hard with from a cost basis to ensure that it’s economic enough to get the stations on board.

In these financially tight times it’s MuxCo structure (with TLRC and UKRD as partners) that allows us to roll out DAB digital radio to this area.