The Minister for Broadband, Communication and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy has announced the dates that the markets that still have analogue television services will convert to digital-only transmission during 2013.
The proposed schedule will see Melbourne as potentially the last market in Australia to have access to analogue television, with Sydney switching to digital-only television a week earlier.
Markets and switchover dates are proposed as follows:
Adelaide: 2 April 2013
Tasmania: 9 April 2013 *
Perth: 16 April 2013 **
Brisbane (includes Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast): 28 May 2013 **
Darwin: 30 July 2013 *
Sydney (includes Gosford): 3 December 2013 **
Melbourne: 10 December 2013 **
This schedule does differ slightly from the original schedule mapped out in 2008.
The Minister has also asked the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to consider switchover dates for Remote and Regional Western Australia (25 June 2013) and Remote Central and Eastern Australia (10 December 2013).
Some remote or ‘self-help’ transmission sites within the above markets may have to have analogue services shutdown ahead of the proposed dates. These are to be advised.
Already five regional television markets have made the switch to digital-only transmission: Mildura/Sunraysia, regional South Australia, regional Victoria, regional Queensland and Southern NSW/ACT and MIA.
Northern NSW, including the major centres of Newcastle, Tamworth and Richmond-Tweed, will lose analogue transmissions on 27 November this year.
According to the latest Digital Tracker survey around 82% of Australian households (within the markets that still have analogue-digital simulcast) have already converted at least their main television receiver to digital.
* Markets that already have a commercial broadcaster exclusively in digital (e.g. Tasmanian Digital Television)
** Markets that already have a community television service exclusively in digital (e.g. TVS, C31)