The fight for DAB+ in regional markets
In The Australian today, Mark Day has written about the fight to get DAB+ into regional area's of Australia.
Of the CRA submission to government Day says:
"It's unlikely the industry will get everything it asks for from whichever party is in government, but in my view (perhaps coloured by personal experience at the country radio coalface) I believe CRA makes a valid case for assistance on a number of levels."
"If it fails, it opens up the likelihood of a digital divide between the cities and the bush."
"The metropolitan licensees picked up the cost of introducing DAB in the cities because it was not an overly expensive exercise. DAB transmitters carry multiple channels and their cost can be shared among operators."
"But it's different in the bush. There are fewer operators; their revenues are much lower and the technical challenges of reaching all listeners within a licence service area are much greater. In some markets geographic anomalies will require up to five fill-in transmitters to supplement the main multiplex."
CRA have asked the government for $500 million in assistance, this compared to the $1.3 billion of support given for the roll out of digital TV.
Read the full Mark Day opinion piece in The Australian here (subscription maybe required)