Fiddling With the Digital TV Tuner: Recent Adjustments to a Poor Policy

Franco Papandrea
2009 Agenda - A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform  
Digital conversion of television in Australia was to have been completed by the end of 2008. Much slower adoption of digital television forced policy changes and the rescheduling of analog television switch-off to conclude by the end of 2013. This paper attributes the slow uptake of digital television to insufficient consumer incentives, excessive regulation of the digital spectrum, and measures to shield incumbent broadcasters from new entrants. Although recent modifications to the policy are
more » ... modest improvement, they are unlikely to produce sufficient acceleration of consumer uptake of digital television to enable the completion of the analog switch-off by 2013. 2 In December 1999, concurrently with a downgrading of the HDTV requirement to a somewhat lower grade of high definition, the Government mandated the broadcasts were also to be made in standard digital format (that is, broadcasters were to triplecast their programs in analog, standard digital and HDTV formats for the duration of the simulcast period). 3 The national broadcasters (ABC and SBS) were exempted from the multi-channelling restrictions, but received little financial support to develop and sustain new services. 4 The term 'datacasting' was coined in Australia (and is not used elsewhere) to refer to broadcast services distributed in the same manner as television programs but strictly regulated to exclude transmission
doi:10.22459/ag.16.03.2009.09 fatcat:xj6fukfyjzcw3ag5beqeyopty4