Australia's Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy minister Stephen Conroy has ordered that free-to-air television be broadcast only in a digital signal in all major cities by 2009 with a final switch-over across the nation by 2013. The Howard government before the 2004 election had proposed a date of 2008 for the switch
Conroy said moving the date for digital television in the major metropolitan markets to 2009 was practical with 2008 looming so quickly and so many consumers sticking with their old televisions.
“This is clearly an impossible date for both viewers and industry. The Government has inherited a digital take up rate of approximately 30 per cent and will now work with industry to ensure that all Australians are prepared for digital television,'' he said.