UK regulator Ofcom has granted permission for Digital One Ltd to extend its national radio multiplex, currently serving England, Scotland and Wales, to Northern Ireland.
It comes after a consultation on the matter which 18 people replied, all of which apart from one were supportive of Digital One’s request.
The primary reason given by respondents for their support was that allowing Digital One to extend coverage of its national radio multiplex service to include Northern Ireland would give listeners there access to the same variety of national DAB radio services already available in the other parts of the United Kingdom.
The one respondent who was opposed to the proposal was not content because Digital One’s proposed coverage in certain parts of Northern Ireland outside of the Belfast area would not be as extensive as that in Belfast itself.
Digital One will provide coverage of Northern Ireland using six transmitters, at each of Divis, Carnmoney Hill, Londonderry, Brougher Mountain, Strabane and Limavady. The network will provide robust ‘indoor’ coverage to 74% of households, and 70% of the main road network, in Northern Ireland.
Having Digital One in Northern Ireland will mean 14 new radio stations including Absolute Radio, Smooth Radio, talkSPORT, Jazz FM, UCB UK and Kiss UK.