BaD Radio’s broadcasts get a boost as it tunes into ultrafast internet
It already prides itself on giving listeners their favourite songs 24 hours a day, but now community radio station BaD Radio is set to send its service “through the roof” after accessing Derby’s ultra-fast fibre internet service.
The internet-based station – BaD stands for Burton and Derby – is the first organisation in the city to enjoy greater bandwidth after it signed up to a Gigabit Networks contract, allowing it to enjoy upload and download speeds of 930Mbps.
BaD Radio broadcasts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and offers a blend of local news and comment in amongst a playlist made up of popular 80s songs which its founder, Darren Rogers, refers to as hairbrush hits – tunes you can’t avoid singing along to using your hairbrush as a microphone.
It operates out of Darren’s home studio in Mickleover, with its 12 other presenters broadcasting their shows remotely via the internet.
However, the limited capacity of its previous connection, which had an internet speed of around 70Mbps, meant that the station could not broadcast live and record future content at the same time, and so the presenters, all of whom have full-time jobs, had to take turns.
Its new greater bandwidth makes this possible, which gives its presenters greater flexibility, while it will also enable BaD to host an Alexa app, meaning that listeners can ask their smart devices to launch the radio.
And it will help BaD Radio to bring forward its plans to switch from an internet station to a DAB broadcaster, something which it could not do with its previous internet bandwidth.
Darren said: “Having greater bandwidth means that the opportunities for the radio station have gone through the roof. We won’t need a studio and our presenters are no longer constrained when it comes to broadcasting live or recording content.
“This kind of bandwidth is hugely important for a radio station of our size. We’re a non-profit organisation and so we don’t have a huge budget for technology, while at the same time we can’t afford any drop or break in our service.
“We have paid roughly the same as our previous deal and it’s a brilliant investment. We’ve very quickly realised how powerful this technology is and what a huge difference it can make.”
Gigabit Networks, which is operating from an office in Uttoxeter Old Road, is working in partnership with CityFibre, which is installing the all-important cabling that will create a full fibre internet network beneath Derby’s streets as part of an initial £45m private investment.
The network uses 100% underground fibre optic cables to transmit data quicker and more reliably than the traditional copper wire network.
So far the fibre has been laid outside 8,000 homes and businesses in parts of Mackworth, Allestree, Mickleover, Abbey, Arboretum and Darley wards.
Gigabit has also agreed to sponsor BaD Radio’s breakfast show as it aims to get itself better known and get more homes and businesses signed up to full fibre.
Dan Ilett, co-founder of Gigabit Networks, said: “The internet has become so important to all kinds of industries and it’s wonderful to know that the ultra-fast wifi is at the heart of BaD Radio’s expansion plans for 2022.
“We’re very excited to be able to connect businesses and individuals to the network, which is getting bigger every day. The UK is way behind the rest of the world when it comes to internet speeds and this technology brings us back into the leading pack.
“That’s great news for the country but wonderful news for Derby, because it’s right at the forefront of the full fibre roll out and is already stealing a march on much larger UK cities.”