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Most North-West residents to have digital television access by mid 2007

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Most North-West residents to have digital television access by mid 2007 Thursday, 19 October 2006

The majority of North-West residents are scheduled to be able to access free-to-air digital television by mid 2007, local Federal Member Mark Baker said today.

“Many people across Tasmania’s North-West, particularly in the Burnie, Waratah-Wynyard and Circular Head municipalities, have been enquiring when they will be able to receive digital television,” Mr Baker said.

Mr Baker said some people may already be receiving digital television services from other transmitters, such as at Mount Barrow near Launceston, but the rollout of local transmitters across the North-West would provide a higher quality and more reliable reception.

“Devonport and surrounding communities have been receiving the five free-to-air digital television stations available in Tasmania since August 2006 from the local Kelcey Tier transmitter,” he said.

“By mid next year most North-West residents - from Circular Head through to Latrobe - should be able to access all five free-to-air digital television services provided they have a set top box.”

Roll-out Details:

Central Coast - The ABC and SBS services are scheduled to commence through the Ulverstone and Penguin transmitters between now and December, while the three commercial stations are expected follow in June next year.

Burnie - Technical problems associated with Burnie’s Round Hill transmitter have delayed the rollout of digital services into Burnie. The commercial stations have decided to install an intermediate microwave relay link to receive the Mount Barrow signal and then retransmit it to Round Hill.

The Round Hill transmitter is scheduled to begin broadcasting the commercial stations from mid next year. The ABC and SBS services are broadcast differently than the commercial stations and are expected to be operational sooner.

Waratah-Wynyard and Circular Head - The Table Cape, Tier Hill and Willis Hill transmitters will commence broadcasting into the Wynyard, Smithton and Stanley communities respectively shortly after the Round Hill transmitter comes online.