$375 Million For Digital TV

The Federal Government will invest $375.4 million over 12 years to provide transmission of digital free-to-air television services from a new satellite platform – the Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) service.


The Federal Government will invest $375.4 million over 12 years to provide transmission of digital free-to-air television services from a new satellite platform – the Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) service.

All television viewers in Australia will now have access to the full range of free-to-air digital television services as a result of the new satellite television service, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy said.

“For many years, poor television reception has troubled some residents in regional and remote areas of Australia,” he said. “The new satellite service will bring to those viewers the range of television services long enjoyed by Australians in capital cities. It will ensure that viewers who are unable to receive terrestrial television services are not left behind in the coming switchover to digital.”

Under an agreement reached with all television broadcasters across Australia, broadcasters will upgrade a number of existing regional and metropolitan analogue ‘self-help’ transmission facilities to operate in digital, while the Government will fund the VAST service.
“The VAST service will include the main standard definition channels providing Seven, Nine and Ten network programs, high definition channels, and new digital channels including GO!, 7TWO and ONEHD. All national broadcaster channels will be available including ABC1, ABC2, ABC3, the forthcoming ABC news channel, SBS ONE and SBS TWO.”

Senator Conroy also announced a satellite subsidy of $99.1 million to the end of 2013 for those viewers in communities reliant on community run self-help towers who will now need to access the new satellite service because of the closure of these self help sites.
“The satellite subsidy will be a minimum of $400 per household, with higher amounts of $550 for defined ‘very remote area’ households and $700 for defined ‘far north tropical’ households. In addition to these subsidy amounts, households in identified remote indigenous communities may be eligible for an additional $280 worth of assistance,” Senator Conroy said.

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