Australia looks to expand DAB+ outside major cities

Australia flag canvasAustralian Minister for Communications Malcom Turnbull released a report with recommendations for creating a digital radio planning committee in charge of rolling out DAB+ outside of the major metropolitan areas. Commercial Radio Australia and the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia voiced support for this step toward increasing DAB+ coverage. The technology launched in Australia’s metro areas in 2009, and 3.2 million people now listen with DAB+ radios.

This new report sees digital radio as a supplement to broadcasting rather than a replacement, at least for the near future. Both national and community level broadcasters will make the choice of whether they want to roll out digital terrestrial radio services. The Australian government is also not setting a deadline for switching off analog broadcasts. “Definitive views on the future of digital terrestrial radio cannot be made at this time,” the report said. “Greater clarity may emerge in the medium term but significant rollout uncertainties and challenges-particularly for service provision in regional Australia—remain.”

Anna Washenko