SBS extends regional range

PORT Hedland and Broome are set to gain the SBS analogue TV service in November, with a Karratha roll-out planned for December.

While other broadcasters are preparing for the digital revolution, the SBS Analogue TV Extension is a Federal Government initiative to extend SBS’s analogue TV network to 78 locations across regional Australia that do not have access to SBS TV.

The extension is funded by the $120 million Television Fund, created as part of the second Telstra sale.

SBS manager of transmission services Hugh James said until May last year, SBS’s broadcast reach was determined by the National Transmission Agency, a Federal Government body.

“Having taken control 15 months ago, we have had input into the areas that will gain the service, and this has largely been based on population figures,” Mr James said.

“Based on current estimates by the Federal Government, there’s a good eight to 10 years life left in analogue services for the regions before digital becomes an issue.”

Albany and Esperance roll-outs will commence in January, followed by Geraldton and Kalgoorlie in March. Other locations including Wagin and Bunbury should gain the service by June.

The extension is targeted at regional areas with a population of at least 10,000 people.

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