With more than 5 per cent of all radio listening said to be via a DAB+ device, Parliament House has finally gone digital by allowing Federal politicians to experience the broadcast of 12 local stations on the DAB+ platform.
The system was switched on by Senator Stephen Conroy, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy at an event hosted by Commercial Radio Australia’s Board and commercial radio CEOs and owners, in a bid to get the government’s continued support for the rollout of digital radio across the whole country.
Digital radio has enjoyed considerable success in all five major cities in Australia, with more than 200,000 radios being sold within a year from its August 2009 launch, while time spent listening to a radio via a DAB+ device has outstripped listening to radio on the internet by 2 to 1.
Conroy said: “Digital Radio has proven to be a popular option for radio listeners in mainland state capital cities. Consideration of the complex policy and planning issues associated with the rollout of digital radio to regional areas is underway and the Government looks forward to working collaboratively with the radio industry to achieve the best outcome for regional radio audiences.”
MC, Melbourne’s 3AW radio presenter, Neil Mitchell introduced Commercial Radio Australia, chief executive officer, Joan Warner, who said: “The radio industry believes that by transmitting the DAB+ trial signal into Parliament House and providing digital radios to all Members of Parliament and Senators, they will experience the benefits of digital radio and support the rollout of digital radio for all Australians.”
The Parliament House digital radio signal is a re-boost of the Canberra regional trial that commenced on 22 July 2010. The signal had to be re-inforced at Parliament House to navigate the manmade and natural challenges of the building.
Commercial radio broadcasters, Capital Radio, ARN and Austereo; and public service broadcaster SBS, have jointly funded the trial. The moe is also supported by Broadcast Australia, systems integrators UGL Infrastructure/Radioscape as well as digital radio receiver manufacturers; Bush, Grundig, NextWave Digital, OXX Digital, Philips, Pure, Roberts, Sangean, Tangent and Teac.
Stations available on the Canberra & Parliament House DAB+ digital radio trial include 2CA – Capital Radio Network, my Canberra Digital – Capital Radio Network, Hot Country Canberra Digital – Capital Radio Network, Mix 106.3 FM – Canberra FM (Austereo/ARN), 104.7 FM – Canberra FM (Austereo/ARN), Radar Radio (Austereo), Classic Hits Plus (ARN) and four SBS radio channels.