Digital Radio for East Antrim

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Larne, Carrickfergus and Newtownabbey are due to enter the world of 21st century local digital broadcasting with East Antrim SSDAB announcing that they are to apply to Ofcom for the local DAB Multiplex.

Small Scale DAB, as it is known, allows more localised services to broadcast on digital radio and East Antrim SSDAB plan to bring 24 new radio stations to the local area. The stations will a mixture of commercial and local community stations with music and speech content to suit all ages and interests.

East Antrim SSDAB will provide the infrastructure of transmitter and aerial sites and then radio stations and audio services opt to broadcast on that mux at a much lower cost than if they had an FM station.

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The team behind East Antrim SSDAB includes Blast106, Belfast 89 and Sunshine 1049 who have a proven track record in delivering on DAB Multiplex projects having launched the successful Lagan SSDAB Mux covering all of Greater Belfast, which is the largest SSDAB Multiplex in Northern Ireland covering over half a million listeners.

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Sean Og Mac Braoin, Launch Coordinator for East Antrim said at the launch of East Antrim SSDAB’s bid earlier this week: “The experience that launching and successfully operating the Greater Belfast DAB Mux puts us in an unrivalled position to guarantee the success of a DAB multiplex for the people of Larne, Carrickfergus and Newtownabbey.

"For radio stations it also means that they can choose to be on the East Antrim Mux only or to expand across the wider region from Lisburn to Larne, something we can uniquely offer.”

Chairman of East Antrim SSDAB is local Newtownabbey man, Chris Barber who is also a director of the successful FM station Blast106. Chris is confident of the success of SSDAB in the East Antrim region saying: “I’ve been involved in local broadcasting in Belfast for almost 20 years so it will be nice to bring that experience and those contacts to my home area and making sure that local people from Larne to Newtownabbey and Carrickfergus to Ballyclare will have a raft of new local radio stations to enjoy with varied music and speech output.

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"To quote a famous RTE chat show host, there’s one for everyone in the audience.”

East Antrim SSDAB have already signed up 11 of the 24 stations that the mux can accommodate and are looking to hear from other services such as online stations or aspirant community audio services to join the mix.

They hope to have the mux up and running by early 2025, so to find out more, simply visit eastantrimssdab.co.uk

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