Government announces free-to-air satellite service

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, has announced the launch of a free-to-air satellite service which will target  the 247,000 households unable to access DTT services from terrestrial transmitters.
By providing this service the government means to ensure that viewers living in regional areas can access the same television services as those viewers living in urban areas.
The free-to-air satellite platform will provide the same services as are currently available on the DTT platform. These services include ABC, Nine, SBC, Seven, Ten, ABC2, ABC3, SBS TWO, GO!, 7TWO and ONE HD. Local services will also be made available.
The government is committing AUS $40 million (25.6 million Euros) per year for the next four years to build and operate the satellite service. The new service is expected to start in the Sunraysia/Mildura region before the 30th by June 2010 when local analogue services are switched off.
In a separate agreement, broadcasters have agreed to increase DTT coverage by upgrading more than 100 existing regional analogue ‘self-help’ transmission facilities to operate in digital.
Source: Ministry press release
Item added: 11th January 2010