With Canberra, Darwin DAB+ trials complete, applications open for licences | radioinfo

With Canberra, Darwin DAB+ trials complete, applications open for licences

Tuesday 21 November, 2017

Applications invited for digital radio multiplex transmitter licences. 

Following extensive trials of DAB+ in Canberra and Darwin since 2010, applications opened yesterday for one permanent licence in each capital city. 

As reported by radioinfo, the trials were conducted by Commercial Radio Australia using DAB+ digital radio technology. Participants in the Canberra trial included The ABC and SBS.

The ACMA has published a notice inviting eligible joint venture companies to apply for foundation category 1 digital radio multiplex transmitter licences.

The license will remain in force for 15 years, and there is no official closing date for applications, . Head here for licence details and conditions. 

Digital radio services, using DAB+ technology in VHF Band III spectrum, have been running on a permanent basis in the metropolitan areas of Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney since July 2009.
 

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Eugene Delargy
22 November 2017 - 1:30am
Again, no progress for the Gold Coast, Australia's largest non capital city market.

Why?

Brisbane licensees and Gold Coast licensees are battling it out over the signal towards each others market and the timing of such implementation. Caralis and Jowitt throw their two cents in from the cheap seats.

Further complication is that the ABC rightfully want an unrestricted radiation patter on 9C from Mt Coot-tha.

So they should too. ABC Brisbane simulcast on 9C transmits at 50 kW on AM 612, ten times greater than Brisbane commercial stations with coverage from Bundaberg to Grafton and Goondiwindi.

JJJ and Classic FM have an FM ERP of 96 kW, ~9 dB greater than non national Brisbane FM broadcasters.

On DAB+ all the ABC stations are limited to a lower powered output in line with the commercial stations.

To the Gold Coast, ACMA's arbitrary regional limit of 5 kW is woefully inadequate for the challenging terrain of the broadcast area. The suggestion of multiple sites matching the DTV sites is costly and unnecessary madness. In a region that suffers natural disasters, higher probability of no access to far flung sites and it makes sense to consolidate redundancy to as few sites as possible.

Sadly, the Gold Coast has missed the boat on getting services to air for the Commonwealth Games, however the pre Christmas 2016 release of discussion paper was too late as it was.
DJ Macca
22 November 2017 - 9:09am
With digital radio covering way less than 66% of the Australian population (15.3 million) capital city population, the remaining 34% (8.1 million) of those who live outside have limited access to digital radio of any sort.

Setting up new/additional DAB+ transmitters for small audiences is an expen$ive option and I could consider this to be a large waste of anyones money in the current era of online streaming services.

What is needed is a long term approach to making these services available to all Australians even where radio and digital signals are generally unavailable using existing and future infrastructure builds.

Options to give Digital Radio access to all Australians need to include options like:
unmetered streaming access on mobile networks; and
unmetered streaming access on all NBN services for Digital Radio stations.

Perhaps then we could have DAB+ services available to nearly everyone across Australia without having to wait for decade long trials to continue using existing frequency bands already in use.

Please feel free to contact me for even more options.....@_DJMacca
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