Should I consider the VAST service? | ACMA

Should I consider the VAST service?

What is VAST?

Most Australians receive terrestrial television signals from local transmission towers. However, because Australia is a large and geographically diverse country, with population centres ranging from large coastal cities to isolated outback areas, there have always been, and will continue to be, places that are unable to receive a good reliable signal from any nearby tower.

To ensure that you’re able to enjoy the benefits of digital TV no matter where you live, the Australian Government runs a satellite platform called Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST).

What services are broadcast on VAST?

VAST provides the full range of digital national (ABC and SBS) and commercial channels.

Viewers using VAST will receive services from their satellite licence area. The commercial channels you can receive will depend on which services are available terrestrially in your area. In addition, the local news content from regional broadcasters is also available on dedicated local news channels exclusive to VAST.

Am I eligible to receive VAST?

Anyone may apply for and be authorised to receive national broadcasting services on VAST.

However, specific rules and a conditional access scheme apply to viewers wanting access to commercial television broadcasting services via VAST. In general, you’re potentially eligible if you live in an area that cannot receive a good reliable television signal from any television tower.

If you’re travelling around Australia in a motorhome or towing a caravan, you can apply for access to VAST under a special conditional access category for a six-month period.

How do I apply for VAST?

Go to mySwitch and enter your address. When the map showing your address appears, click on the ‘Satellite eligibility’ tab and follow the instructions.

Alternatively, you can go to the mysattv website if you wish to get access to both national (ABC and SBS) and commercial channels.

The myVAST website also allows you to activate access to ABC and SBS services only, which is unrestricted.

What is the ACMA’s role in VAST?

The ACMA does not administer the conditional access scheme for VAST. However, if your application for VAST has been rejected by the VAST administrator (RBA Holdings Pty), you may lodge a complaint with the ACMA.

The ACMA may investigate your complaint if the VAST administrator has:

  • rejected your application for VAST
  • approved your access to VAST but later revoked that approval
  • not dealt with your application within 15 business days.

Where can I get more information?

  • myVast website—the main port of call for information about VAST, access and eligibility requirements, and how to apply
  • the ACMA website for:
    • FAQs about VAST—some helpful information about how VAST works and where you can go for assistance
    • complaints about VAST—how to make a complaint to the ACMA about the VAST service.

Last updated: 22 December 2014