Broadcast Australia has called on the Federal Government to reconsider the costs involved in moving towns and communities onto satellite-based delivery of digital television signals.
Speaking at a Senate Committee, Broadcast Australia chief executive Graeme Barclay said satellite-based services should be kept to a minimum. “The public policy intent and impact (of the measures of the bill) appears to be based on the view that whether a home converts to digital TV through direct-to-home by satellite means or through digital television reception is a matter of little concern to the viewer,” he said.
“We submit that there is a big difference. We believe because it is both more costly and less convenient to receive signals via satellite than terrestrial reception, means that public policy should be directed at achieving a more appropriate balance between terrestrial and satellite deliver of digital television.”
Broadcast Australia provides managed analogue and digital transmission services for television and analogue radio to organisations such as SBS and the ABC.
According to Barclay, “there are real and important consequences for consumers who are compelled to adopt satellite-based TV reception,” Barclay said. “Even with access to the government’s satellite subsidy scheme, households with a number of TVs and recording devices will incur an increased private cost of digital TV conversion exceeding $1000 on terrestrial coverage.”