The ACMA is required to prepare digital channel plans (DCPs) which will determine the channels to be allotted in each area and assigned to each broadcaster as well as the technical limitations and characteristics of those channels.
The ACMA has in place technical planning documents setting out the general and technical assumptions to be used for planning the rollout of digital television services.
Each broadcaster must prepare implementation plans relating to the conversion of their services to digital.
The digital channel plans (DCPs) determine which channels are to be allotted to each area, the assignment of channels to each broadcaster and the technical characteristics of those channels. The ACMA's objective in preparing the DCPs is to enable a broadcaster to plan its digital transmission coverage to match its analog coverage.
Digital channel plans are being developed in four stages. During the first stage, main station channels for the metropolitan licence areas of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth and some other priority areas were completed. These areas will be revisited in the second stage through a variation to the DCP. Variations will include planning for additional digital services and digital repeater sites. DCPs for regional areas of Australia will be developed during stage three and DCPs for remote areas will be prepared during stage four.
The allocation of digital channels for national broadcasters (ABC and SBS) is outlined in the National Digital Channel Plans for each state.