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Community television broadcasters granted two year licence extension

1 June 2018

The Turnbull Government will provide community television (CTV) broadcasters in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth with a further two years of terrestrial broadcasting to assist their transition to online streaming.

The decision has been taken following advocacy by Coalition and crossbench colleagues. The Government also consulted directly with the sector at a roundtable held in Melbourne in April 2018.

Broadcasters were initially notified in 2014 that the Government would require them to vacate terrestrial spectrum on 31 December 2015 and thereafter use the Internet as their distribution platform.

The Turnbull Government has since provided several extensions to Community Television and provided Government funding of $90,000 to each station to assist with the transition.

A further two year extension will enable stations in Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne to finalise their arrangements for vacating terrestrial spectrum by 30 June 2020. Services in Brisbane and Sydney have already ceased broadcasting over spectrum.

Spectrum is a scarce and valuable community resource which the Government needs to manage in a way that delivers best value to the Australian public. The Government continues to examine the potential options for using the vacated broadcast spectrum. For instance, vacated spectrum in Sydney is currently being used for a trial of next-generation broadcasting technology that could enable new services for viewers, such as the terrestrial broadcast of ultra-high definition 4K television.

The Government is confident that this two year extension will provide a period of stability and certainty to CTV broadcasters, enabling staff and volunteers to manage their day to day operations whilst completing a successful transition to online streaming.

Media contacts:

Geraldine Mitchell | 0407 280 476 | Geraldine.Mitchell [at] communications.gov.au 
Guy Creighton | 0438 815 302 | Guy.Creighton [at] communications.gov.au