Australian Broadcasters Look to Expand DAB in Rural Areas

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Sydney - Sep 30, 2011 - Now that digital radio is available in the capital cities of Australia, commercial stations are looking to the future, when they will be able to provide the same services for rural Australia as well. Mark Colvin, a presenter for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, covered the topic during the show PM Friday evening. A podcast of the program segment is available, as is a complete transcript of the digital radio segment.

Joan Warner is the chief executive of Commercial Radio Australia, which represents almost all the commercial radio stations. During the show, she noted, "We would like the planning done expeditiously for the regional rollout. Once we've got the planning done, then we can say to people in regional areas, 'Digital radio is coming to you in 2013, 2014, 2015.' Similar to the way that they did the television switch off, only we'll be doing a switch on, not a switch off.

"I think it will be good for regional Australians to say, 'OK, I can go and buy a radio that's got a DAB+ chip in, or a home entertainment center, knowing that I'm going to get all those services in a couple of years.' So it gives some certainty.

What we'd say to listeners is: go and talk to your local member of Parliament and ask him to tell the government they want digital radio, DAB+ digital radio in their area ASAP."

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