Major outage for Sydney digital stations | radioinfo

Major outage for Sydney digital stations

Thursday 31 March, 2016

There was a major outage this afternoon which took many Sydney digital radio services off air in prime time for about an hour.

Various commercial and community radio services are known to have been affected by the failure, which began just after 5pm.

The issue was traced back to Telstra, which had a major equipment failure inside the North Sydney exchange. 

Transmissions from the Artarmon site went to air, but program was appearently not able to reach the transmission site.

The fault affected many Telstra customers' phone and internet services, as well as knocking out the feeds from studios to the digital radio transmission tower.

Telstra remotely reset its equipment and stations were reported to be back on air some time after 6pm.

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Eugene Delargy
31 March 2016 - 10:32pm
This is one of the problems of multi-platform broadcasting.

Previously, station engineers only had to look after one broadcast signal.

Today, they still do as the final hops of the DAB+ chain are handled by a third party who looks after all signals. Offshore hosting companies may handle internet streaming for stations too.

With DAB+ not the primary broadcast signal and monitoring of the DAB+ signal the responsibility of a third party, it does diminish the control radio stations have on their signal.

Sure, the third party may receive compensation for the terms of service not being fulfilled today by Telstra, but it doesn't compare to the control that broadcasters have on their analogue signal.
Anthony Eden
31 March 2016 - 10:32pm
It's remarkable how something as big, expensive and complicated as DAB+ is reliant on single providers, such as Telstra. It's not the first time it's avoidably gone down, and won't be the last. If it's not the provider's fault, then it's due to some single piece of equipment in a rack somewhere deciding to give up.
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