More digital radio stations become available in island

MORE than 20 radio stations are now available in digital format for the first time in Guernsey, including three based in the Bailiwick.

Virgin Radio's Chris Evans. (Picture by PA News) (29834526)
Virgin Radio's Chris Evans. (Picture by PA News) (29834526)

The island’s Digital Audio Broadcasting service has been updated by Nation Broadcasting and islanders can now enjoy commercial stations that have never been available over the local airwaves before, as well as community radio services in higher quality than on FM.

The hardware is the first of its kind to offer DAB+ services in the British Isles and the 20-plus stations now available are a record for local DAB transmitter, said the company.

DAB+ is an upgraded and more efficient version of DAB that enables a greater number of stations to be broadcast.

While there are currently two transmitters in the islands – one each for Guernsey and Jersey – Alderney will have its own by the end of the summer.

The service was switched on on Monday and DAB radio owners will need to rescan for additional channels in order to add the newly-added CI list.

Among these are Virgin, Capital and Heart, plus several Nation-owned stations covering music from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s plus the newly-launched Nation Rocks.

BBC Guernsey, Island FM and Alderney’s Quay FM are also included, plus BBC Guernsey Xtra.

Xtra is a duplicate of BBC Guernsey’s medium wave broadcasts, which means that on the days of States meetings, islanders will be able to listen to the meeting on this channel.

To mark the arrival of Virgin Radio in the islands, tomorrow morning’s Chris Evans Breakfast Show is being broadcast live from Jersey between 7 and 10am.

He had planned to do a show from Guernsey, too, but told his listeners last month that this was not going to happen, incorrectly stating that he would have to quarantine for three weeks if he came here.

BBC CI executive editor Alex Full said it was delighted to finally be able to bring BBC Radio Jersey and Guernsey to the islands.

‘We know how fantastically popular these services are and no doubt audiences will be delighted to have the choice of digital alongside FM.'

‘We have launched one of the most diverse and advanced local multiplexes seen in over two decades of DAB digital radio broadcasting,’ said Nation Broadcasting chairman Jason Bryant. ‘We’re proud to be able to triple the choice of radio services available to listeners in the Channel Islands.’

. To tune in, listeners should rescan their DAB+ radio. Instructions can be found on the BBC website, https://bbc.in/3ilsns0.

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