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Digital radio, which offers vastly improved sound quality, reception and additional content services, will commence in Australia by 2009, announced Senator Helen Coonan, Minister for Communications, today.

“I am pleased to announce the next steps in the implementation process which will result in services commencing in the six state capital cities by 1 January 2009,” she said.

Work on the roll-out of a digital radio network for national metropolitan centres including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth is already underway.

Eleven digital radio stations have been trialing (and will continue to trial) in a large part of Sydney since December 2003, including WS-FM, Nova 969, 2GB, 2UE, 2DayFM, 2KY, 2SM, ABC Classic FM, ABC dig internet radio and SBS.

Digital radio is the biggest change in radio broadcasting since FM in the 1970s. Its main advantages over analogue transmission are far superior sound quality and reception, and provision of additional services.

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