The Australian Government recently introduced legislation so all Australians could receive the full suite of digital TV channels. This is particularly important for regional Australians, because it will provide the framework for a new satellite service.
According to Senator Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, the Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Digital Television) Bill 2010 will ensure everyone around Australia can access digital TV, regardless of where they live.
On 5 January 2010, Senator Conroy announced that a new satellite service would be introduced to bring digital TV to all Australians who could not adequately receive terrestrial digital television services.
Conroy said the Bill will provide the legislative framework for the implementation of this new satellite service.
“The Bill will help broadcasters provide the same number of digital television services to all Australians wherever they live, whether they access television through terrestrial transmission or via satellite,” he said.
The amendments will create three new commercial television license areas, including Northern Australia (NT and QLD), South Eastern Australia (ACT, NSW, SA, TAS and VIC) and Western Australia.
“The Bill will dramatically improve the choice and quality of digital television services for regional Australia as we move towards digital switchover,” he said.
“The legislation also requires commercial broadcasters to provide all local news and information programs to the satellite service licensee, and will ensure that viewers who rely on satellite are able to access their local news as soon as possible after bulletins commence on the terrestrial channel.”