Digital TV By December 2009 Switch Off 2013

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Australia’s new Broadband, Comms and Digital Economy Minister Stephen Conroy has ordered a December 2009 start for digital-only TV broadcasts in Australian metropolitan markets and 2013 for a nation-wide switchover.

Australia’s new Broadband, Comms and Digital Economy Minister Stephen Conroy has ordered a December 2009 start for digital-only TV broadcasts in Australian metropolitan markets and 2013 for a nation-wide switchover.

The Minister now faces the task of telling the Australian public most of them will need to outlay major funds on new hardware. Less than 30 percent of the population currently has a suitable digital TV sets or set-top boxes

But the move is also expected to spark increased demand for home networking equipment to link computers, TVs and other audio-video gear.

Conroy has also set up a Digital Switchover Taskforce to push the switchover along. The taskforce, within his Department of Broadband, Communications and
the Digital Economy, is to be headed by Andy Townend, a British expert hired by the former Howard government.

Conroy has told Townend to report back with a “comprehensive switchover timetable” in Q3  2008. The Minister said the Government had decided to amend the Howard government’s deadline of December 2008 for a start to digital-only transmissions in metropolitan markets. “This is clearly an impossible date
for both viewers and industry,” he said, revealing the new date of December 2009.

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