An approach to DAB coverage planning
- Start: 20 June 2011
- Status: Statement published
- End: 12 September 2011
In July 2010, the Government published a Digital Radio Action Plan (DRAP) the purpose of which is to provide the information to allow for a well-informed decision by Government on whether to proceed with a radio switchover.
Ofcom has been asked to chair a DAB coverage and spectrum planning group to determine the current level of FM coverage and develop a range of options to increase DAB coverage to match FM.
In June 2011, Ofcom published "An approach to DAB coverage planning", a consultation which set out our approach to that task. In particular, the document outlined:
- Our approach to defining the areas within which we aim to replicate on DAB, as far as practicable, the editorial coverage of existing FM radio services (we labelled these editorial areas);
- The underlying technical assumptions used to predict acceptable levels of FM and DAB coverage for indoor portable and in-vehicle radio reception;
- The extent of existing FM coverage within each editorial area, for indoor portable radios and for in-vehicle radios on major roads; and
- A study investigating the feasibility of different radio switchover scenarios illustrating, from a broadcast network perspective, how increasing levels of coverage can be achieved using increasing numbers of transmitters.
We were explicit that the document was not a policy consultation on a regulatory decision by Ofcom, given that the decisions that may follow this work are primarily to be taken by multiplex operators and by Government. Rather, we outlined that we were consulting to give a wider public and stakeholder audience the opportunity to express any views on the issues in this document, before we submit a final report to Government.
The options we proposed do not constitute a definitive or final view on any post-switchover DAB network but will inform the Governments decision about whether to proceed with digital radio switchover. We noted that further technical work on network planning, and public policy decisions by Government on the issues raised, would be necessary.
We invited responses on consultation questions that we set out, particularly from a technical perspective or with a focus on the consumer experience