Foyle DAB Ltd will establish a successful multiplex operation by providing existing community and commercial broadcasters as well as new entrants with a reliable digital broadcast platform on both affordable and flexible terms. We intend to build a strong and sustainable business that provides capacity for high quality services offering listeners an extended range of new and distinctive formats including niche brands for those with tastes and interests as yet unserved. Our core ambition is to offer service providers a low cost, easy to access, high quality service. Our target market comprises existing Ofcom-licenced analogue community and commercial broadcasters looking for a digital future – who wish to simulcast existing services as well as develop and launch new brand extensions. The DAB platform will also appeal to existing internet radio stations as well as potential broadcasters who have been unable to obtain an Ofcom licence due to a lack of available analogue spectrum
Derry is the second largest city in Northern Ireland, characterised by its distinctively hilly topography. The River Foyle forms a deep valley as it flows through the city, which presents challenges for radio transmission whilst also explaining our choice of name for the multiplex. Derry Urban Area (DUA), includes the city and the neighbouring towns of Culmore, Newbuildings and Strathfoyle. On census day (27 March 2011) there were 81,902 people living in Derry Urban Area. This accounts for the 77.2% of the people in Ofcom’s ‘Derry/Londonderry’ Polygon area.
Ofcom’s defined Polygon take-in parts of County Tyrone, most notably Strabane. We are mindful of Ofcom’s remit to maximise population coverage within each Polygon area but need to balance that with an achievable business model which allows for sustainability and, in time, development. Our core objective throughout the transmission planning phase, therefore, was to ensure solid coverage for the city of Derry and into the key residential and business areas across the wider Derry Urban Area. We are confident that this has been achieved thanks to our transmitter high over the city at Sheriffs Mountain.
Our second site is at Strabane in County Tyrone. Unlike Derry, the Strabane topography is flat with the town lying on the east bank of the river Foyle at an elevation of just 7 metres above sea level. Here too, we achieve excellent coverage of the entire town and the immediate surrounding rural areas.