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Digital Dividend Green Paper.

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Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate

Digital dividend green paper

The Rudd Government today released a Government green paper seeking public comment on the benefits and costs of maximising Australia’s digital dividend.

The ‘digital dividend’ is the term used to describe the radio-frequency spectrum made available up as a result of the switchover to digital-only television.

"The transition to digital-only television will free up spectrum that is currently used to deliver analog television services," Senator Conroy said.

"This valuable resource will potentially provide a once in a generation opportunity to encourage the introduction of new communications services and to improve existing services for the benefit of Australian businesses and individuals."

"Releasing the digital dividend will be an important microeconomic reform that will boost productivity in the Australian economy by enabling new services and applications."

The green paper establishes a Government target of 126 megahertz (MHz) of contiguous ultra-high frequency spectrum. Achieving this will involve moving some digital television services to new channels.

"Technical studies demonstrate that this target is feasible," Senator Conroy said.

"It is anticipated that a contiguous block of dividend spectrum will be suitable for a larger number of potential communications uses, maximising the potential benefits that the spectrum could provide to Australians."

The Government is committed to achieving a maximised digital dividend while maintaining Australians’ existing access to free-to-air digital television services.

However, before making its final decision on the size and location of the digital dividend, the Government is inviting comments on the benefits and costs to the Australian community and economy of realising its target.

"I encourage all interested parties to access the green paper and provide comments by the 26 February deadline," Senator Conroy said.

The digital dividend green paper is online:

Date: 5 January 2010 Contact: Tim Marshall 0408 258 457

Senator the Hon. Stephen Conroy

Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy DEPUTY LEADER OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE SENATE

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