18 June 2004
Variation to TV licence area plan for Remote Central and Eastern Australia
The Australian Broadcasting Authority has released a draft variation to the licence area plan for analog television services in Remote Central and Eastern Australia. The draft sets out the ABA’s preliminary views on the variations to the number and characteristics of television services in this area.
The draft variation has no impact on viewers in the Remote Central and Eastern Australia licence area. It is the second in a series of variations that are aimed at removing previously allocated, and now unnecessary, channels originally made available as alternative channels in the event of a need to cease operation on channels 3, 4, 5 and 5A. In this instance as the channel 5A service at Wandoan will not be required to clear from this channel, an alternative channel is no longer necessary.
The variation is also aimed at amending existing technical specifications to reflect current operating conditions and designating the licence area using 2001 census boundaries.
The proposals are contained in the explanatory paper and draft variation to the licence area plan, released today.
‘In releasing these proposals, the ABA has given the interests of viewers a high priority and is meeting the needs of the broadcasters in Remote Central and Eastern Australia,’ said Lyn Maddock, Acting ABA Chair.
The draft variation and the accompanying explanatory paper is available on the ABA website or by calling Freecall 1800 226 667.
Comments should be forwarded by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by fax to (02) 6253 3277 or by mail to Planning Officer, Remote Central and Eastern Australia Television licence area plan, Australian Broadcasting Authority, PO Box 34, Belconnen, ACT, 2616.
The closing date for submissions is Tuesday 5.00pm, 15 July 2004.
Media contact Donald Robertson, ABA Manager Media and PR on (02) 9334 7980.
In December 1998, the ABA varied the Remote Central and Eastern Australia television licence area plan and made channel 67 available at Wandoan to accommodate the VHF Band II/5A clearance of ABC television service ABQ5A. The ABA’s decision accompanying the licence area plan variation indicated the need for clearance of channel 5 A in approximately ten years from the release of the licence area plan variation.
At the end of the digital television simulcast period, VHF Band II (channels 3, 4 and 5) and channel 5A services that have been operating in analog mode will cease and as such, there may no longer be a pressing need to clear services on VHF Band II channels and channel 5A. The simulcast period in a remote coverage area commences in accordance with an implementation plan submitted by a broadcaster.
In preparing digital channel plans for the conversion of television services from analog to digital mode, consequential analog channel changes were identified for Crookwell and Menindee, New South Wales and Taroom and Cooktown, Queensland. These changes were identified in order to avoid co-channel interference from high power digital television services in SW Slopes/Eastern Riverina, Broken Hill, Rockhampton and Cairns respectively.
The ABA is aware that the operating conditions of some services are different from those specified in the licence area plan. The draft licence area plan variation proposes to correct the inconsistencies of the technical specifications in the licence area plan to reflect the operating conditions.