ALMOST two million people will be able to listen to digital radio for the first time after the service was switched on at Bletchley Park this morning.
MK Dons chairman and Milton Keynes South MP Iain Stewart pressed the button to launch DAB radio across Herts, Beds and Bucks.
A total of 1.8 million listeners will now be able to listen to their favourite radio stations on digital. The stations set to use the service are Heart, Capital FM, Gold, MKFM, Connect FM and BBC Three Counties Radio,
Capital FM and MKFM will be available for the first time across the region as they are not on analogue, while Gold had previously only been available on medium wave.
The switch-on took place at Bletchley Park’s National Radio Centre at 8am, with BBC Thee Counties, Heart, MKFM and Connect FM broadcasting live from the site.
People will be able to listen to digital radio on a DAB radio set, online, on smartphone apps, on TVF or even in their car with the help of an adapter.
The service will be provided by four transmitters across the region, inlcuding one at Bow Brickhill.
For more information visit www.getdigitalradio.com
Completing the switch-on, Mr Stewart said: “It is a fantastic day. To bring together national radio broadcasters with local and regional news and community stations is incredibly powerful.
“The way we listen to radio is changing and this will really extend the choice available to listeners.”
And Mr Winkelman added: “We are in one of the biggest regions here and it is great to get DAB radio.
“What a line-up of radio we have for everyone.”
Digital Radio chief executive Ford Ennals said: “This is a great Valentine’s Day present for £1.8million people and is the largest local DAB switch-on in the UK.
“Half of the homes in Hertfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire already have a digital radio, but until now they have not been able to receive their favourite local stations on DAB.”
And Mr Ennals also pressed Dons supremo Mr Winkelman on his sides FA Cup clash against Barnsley at the weekend – which will now be aired on digital radio stations across the city.
“It is the FA Cup isn’t it? What is fantastic is you will be able to go to your DAB radio and hear the game,” said Mr Winkelman.
“Wouldn’t it be great if we could do something special.
“I never do score predictions, but I think there is everything to play for. We have every chance of making it to the quarter finals.”