Exeter’s new digital radio network goes live
Monday, 5 December 2022
Eight stations make up the network but there's room for more...
Exeter has a suite of new radio stations broadcasting exclusively to the city and surrounding area, following the launch of a DAB transmitter network.
Exeter is one of the first of 25 locations around the country to be selected in the first round of such networks which enable new radio stations to broadcast to relatively small areas. Last year broadcast regulator Ofcom awarded the licence to operate the service to local company ExeDab, which is led by Devon’s commercial station Radio Exe and Exeter’s community station Phonic FM.
Launched on 1 December, eight stations are now broadcasting on high-quality stereo DAB+ to an area of around 150 square miles around Exeter. and reaching around 135,000 adults.
Joining Radio Exe and Phonic are Riviera FM, Zest 60s, Abacus Radio, and Pop-Up Devon, a channel for specific events or seasons, which is currently running Radio ExeMas, a station from Radio Exe playing non-stop Christmas songs, sponsored by Crealy. Community station East Devon Radio and its new station Devonair Gold complete the line-up.
New channels are expected to come on stream in the new year, on a network that can handle up to about 25 stations. Four spaces are set aside for community stations, of which only one, Phonic FM, is currently operating. Organisations that are interested in setting up radio stations can apply to Ofcom for the appropriate licence, saying they wish to broadcast to Exeter.
The ExeDab network is broadcast from three transmitter sites: the Exeter College tower in the city centre, Hilltop Riding School in the Pennsylvania area, and at Cranbrook Education Campus.
ExeDAB chairman Dr David Treharne said: “It’s been a long journey from applying to run the network to getting on air, but thanks to Exeter College, the Ted Wragg Trust and Hilltop Riding School, our first eight radio services are beaming out.
“Until very recently, broadcasting was expensive and restricted. Now anyone can do it, provided they get a licence, and the costs are relatively modest. We’re now looking forward to helping groups launch radio stations. More details are on the ExeDab website.”