Technologies for digital radio services in regional Australia Discussion paper November 2010
Issues for comment
Submissions and comment are sought on the issues raised in this paper. You may provide your submissions as a response to any or all of the questions posed below or as a separate commentary.
Considerations for consumers
Key issue 1
What aspect or aspects of digital radio should be given priority in regional areas? (For example, is wide area coverage or additional radio services more important than sound quality?)
Would additional digital radio services appeal to you even if compromises, for example in terms of coverage, are required?
If several technologies are used for digital radio in Australia (a hybrid model), how important is it for receivers to receive all the technologies used?
Would the range and cost of digital radio receivers influence your decision to adopt digital radio?
The potential adoption of DAB+
Key issue 2.1
If DAB+ cannot match the current analog AM coverage in some regional licence areas, should it be rolled out in these areas in any case?
Can DAB+ economically provide equivalent coverage to existing analog FM and AM radio services in regional licence areas?
What frequencies should be used for DAB+ services in regional areas?
What are the potential costs for broadcasters of providing DAB+ services in regional licence areas?
If DAB+ in VHF Band III could be introduced to all licence areas in Australia but required compromises (for example, coverage and interference), should it go ahead anyway?
What measures would encourage the supply of inexpensive DAB+ receivers in Australia?
The potential adoption of DRM30/DRM+
Key issue 2.2
Can DRM 30 or DRM+ economically provide equivalent coverage to existing analog radio services in regional areas?
What are the potential costs for broadcasters of providing DRM30 and/or DRM+ services in regional licence areas?
What frequencies should be used to deliver DRM30 and/or DRM+ digital radio services, and in what circumstances?
Considering that DAB+ is currently used in the mainland state capitals, is a DAB+/DRM (either DRM30 or DRM+) hybrid model viable?
What measures would encourage the supply of inexpensive DRM30 and/or DRM+ receivers in Australia?
The potential adoption of other technology solutions
Key issue 2.3
Have other terrestrial technologies sufficiently changed since 2007 that now make them suitable for use in regional areas of Australia?
Can satellite broadcasting be economically used to provide free-to-air radio services in Australia and what are the implications for consumers in terms of ease of reception and cost?
Are there any other technologies not covered in this paper that may be suitable for digital radio in regional Australia?