CBR, DRW and HBA next in line for DAB+

Staff Writer

Canberra, Darwin and Hobart will be the next in line for permanent DAB+ digital radio services.

It follows ABC’s announcement that it intends to extend services into the three capital cities. Commercial Radio Australia CEO, Joan Warner said commercial broadcasters were working closely with the ABC and SBS on the regional rollout plans.

“We’ve been aware for some time that local listeners in regional areas are extremely keen to have DAB+ services introduced and we are working closely with the public broadcasters to make this happen,”she said.

Capital Radio and Canberra FM have been running trial digital radio services in Canberra for some years and Grant Broadcasters has also been on air in Darwin on a trial basis.

“DAB+ is greener and more spectrum efficient than analogue radio and is particularly well-suited to Australians living in regional areas because it allows broadcasters to use their allocated capacity dynamically,”Joan Warner said. “This means, for example, broadcasters can launch pop-up stations to provide 24×7 emergency services bulletins in times of fire or flood.”

Permanent digital radio services in Canberra and Darwin expected to start in 2017 and Hobart in 2018.

“The radio industry is committed to a digital broadcast future via DAB+ combined with and complemented by online. This is especially important in terms of spectrum efficiency and operational costs.”Joan Warner said. ”We will also continue to discuss financial support with the Federal Government for DAB+ rollout into regions as was provided to the television industry for its digital switchover. As the major electronic mediums, radio and television must receive equal treatment from the Government to ensure optimum services in regional Australia and more diversity and choice for regional Australians.”

Figures released today show that 3.6 million Australians, or 27% of the population in the five capital cities, listen to digital radio via DAB+ devices each week. There are 2.9 million DAB+ digital radio receivers in market at September 2016 including 758,000 DAB+ equipped new cars now on the road.  

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