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Reviews of broadcasting spectrum and underserved regional television licence areas.



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Senator the Hon Helen Coonan Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

News Release

162/04 1 December 2004

Reviews of broadcasting spectrum and underserved regional television licence areas

Public comment is sought on two issues papers relating to the regulation of digital television, Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan, said today.

Stakeholders and interested parties have until 23 December 2004 to make a submission on the next two issues papers in the series of reviews relating to digital TV the Government announced in May this year.

The papers released today cover the identification and structuring of broadcasting spectrum and the operation of legislation regarding underserved markets.

“Earlier this year issues papers on simulcasting arrangements and multichannelling prohibitions, the moratorium on new commercial television licences and the Indigenous broadcasting review, were released,” Senator Coonan said.

“The first of the two issues papers released today covers the Australian Broadcasting Authority’s (ABA) structuring of broadcasting spectrum for free-to-air television services and datacasting services and their conversion to digital.

“The second issues paper looks at whether any legislative changes are required to increase commercial television services in underserved regional and remote markets. It also looks at whether new services have resulted in greater program choice for viewers in these areas and will consider future options for these markets.

“To ensure a wide range of views and interests can be taken into account, I encourage all stakeholders and interested members of the community to participate in the digital TV reviews by making a submission in response to the issues papers.

Submissions on the papers are sought by 23 December 2004.

The issues papers are available from the consultation link on the Broadcasting home page at www.dcita.gov.au.

Media Contact: Jane McMillan 0438 690 305 www.minister.dcita.gov.au