The BBC announced that it went live with the corporation’s first ever Virtual Local Radio (ViLoR) station on July 4.
As part of the BBC’s ViLoR project, developed by BBC Technology in collaboration with BBC Local Radio, BBC Radio Northampton is the first of an initial four stations (BBC Radio Northampton, BBC Radio Suffolk, BBC Essex and BBC Three Counties Radio) to be equipped with the latest in-studio capabilities, says the BBC, offering the potential to substantially reduce the cost and time needed to upgrade a typical local radio station.
“This is an excellent example of BBC innovation helping us find new, lower cost and more flexible ways of providing the technology our program makers’ need to deliver great local radio to our audiences from the local community,” said Peter Coles, interim CTO for the BBC.
The broadcaster explains that to the presenters and production teams the studios will appear much like traditional studios but with the underlying equipment and infrastructure moved to a central, shared, location.
Led by Geoff Woolf and the BBC Technology team based in English Regions, the approach, says the BBC, helps the broadcaster solve an important challenge of how best to refresh the equipment and systems used across the BBC’s 39 local radio stations as they reach the end of their natural technology life.
The remaining three stations are scheduled to follow over the next nine months. The BBC says it will analyze the success of the first four stations, and make the necessary improvements and adjustments before taking a decision to roll ViLoR technology out across additional local radio stations in the future.