Over 400,000 people in Lincolnshire were able to switch to digitally enhanced local radio stations today after the arrival of three new transmitters.
For the first time, BBC Radio Lincolnshire, Lincs FM and Compass FM are available on DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting).
The big switch-on took place at 8am on Thursday, October 1, Lincolnshire Day.
Almost half of homes (48%) in Lincolnshire have a DAB digital radio but until now they have only been able to receive national radio stations on DAB and not the local BBC and commercial radio stations.
The new transmitters are in Lincoln, Belmont and Grantham Barracks and will bring over 80% of the county into local DAB coverage.
These transmitters will provide coverage for local DAB stations for over 750 miles of roads in the Lincolnshire area.
Over 22% of radio listening takes place in the car and until recently not many cars had DAB radios, but that has changed with 70% of new cars now having DAB radios fitted as standard.
Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy, said: “I welcome the big switch-on in Lincolnshire and wish BBC Radio Lincolnshire and the excellent local commercial radio stations great success on DAB.
“We believe that the future of radio is digital and are pleased to play our part in supporting the major expansion of DAB digital radio coverage across the UK.”
Charlie Partridge, BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s Editor said: “It is good to be able to add DAB digital radio to our FM and AM frequencies, we celebrate our 35th birthday in November and this is proof that BBC Radio Lincolnshire continues to move with the times.
“The most frequently asked question we are asked is “When will you be on DAB?” and finally we have the answer: Now!”
Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK added: “This is great news for radio and great news for listeners in Lincoln who can now listen to their favourite local stations on DAB for the first time.”