Australia - Digital TV - Policies and Regulations 1996-2006 - Historic

Synopsis

This report has been archived and has not been updated. Broadcasters initially lobbied for HDTV so as to block the use of the digital TV spectrum for potential competitors. However they played into the hands of the pay TV operators who now have a free ride to monopolise the digital TV set-top box (DVR/PVR) market. The FTA operators can’t really move into this arena as there is no real business model for them. By protecting a $3 billion old-world industry, the leaders of this country are impeding the development of a new-world industry that is potentially worth $50 billion to the Australian economy. A review of government policies was launched in late 2005, with the indication that the switch off date of 2008 for analogue in now unrealistic. In March 2006, the Minister for Communications, IT and the Arts released a discussion paper on reform options for Australia’s media industry (covered in a separate report).

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Brief history of DTT policy
    • 2.1 The initial 1996 ABA proposal
    • 2.2 Revised government policy in 1998 saw minor changes
    • 2.3 Digital conversion schemes – 1998
    • 2.4 Digital Channel Plan (DCP)
    • 2.5 The Productivity Commission Broadcasting Report – 1999
      • 2.5.1 PC recommendation winners and losers
      • 2.5.2 Our submission to PC review – 1999
      • 2.5.3 A challenge on Lateline – May 2000
    • 2.6 Adjustments from the Senate Committee – June 2000
    • 2.7 Final policy – June 2000
  • 3. Current regulatory environment
    • 3.1 Standard definition
    • 3.2 Analogue simulcast
    • 3.3 High definition
    • 3.4 No new commercial TV licences
      • 3.4.1 Digital-only commercial television stations
    • 3.5 Multichannelling
    • 3.6 Digital enhancements
    • 3.7 Captioning
    • 3.8 Pay TV
    • 3.9 Datacasting
  • 4. Policy reviews
    • 4.1 Before 2004
    • 4.2 Productivity Commission comments on media reform
    • 4.3 The 2004 review
      • 4.3.1 Review requirements
    • 4.4 Review launched in mid-2004
      • 4.4.1 ACCC on Digital TV Review
      • 4.4.2 Review announced in September 2005
  • 5. Policy analysis
    • 5.1 New Minister means business
    • 5.2 Government and industry built wrong foundations
    • 5.3 Triple-technology standard – initial scepticism proven
      • 5.3.1 Hopeful predictions dashed
      • 5.3.2 HDTV
      • 5.3.3 Datacasting
      • 5.3.4 SDTV
      • 5.3.5 Governments should not try to regulate technology
    • 5.4 Vested interests
      • 5.4.1 Stalin would have blushed at the FTA monopoly gift
      • 5.4.2 Mateship favoured above good policies
      • 5.4.3 Government advisors advised against
      • 5.4.4 FTA’s defensive strategy of delay
      • 5.4.5 Consumer choice, multichannelling, and the threat to FTA
    • 5.5 No reform, no innovations
      • 5.5.1 Second Internet platform totally ignored by the government
      • 5.5.2 Local industry misses out
      • 5.5.3 Everybody is losing
    • 5.6 ABC abandons digital TV
    • 5.7 Conclusion
  • 6. Media Policies
    • 6.1 Original ownership restrictions
    • 6.2 The Liberal Government and foreign control rules #1
    • 6.3 The Liberal Government and foreign control rules #2
    • 6.4 Broadcasting Services (Media Ownership) Amendment Bill 2002
    • 6.5 No in-principle objections
    • 6.6 In the wake of convergence
    • 6.7 A national vision
    • 6.8 Players are misusing the unworkable regulatory environment
  • 7. Related reports
  • Exhibit 1 – Productivity Commission recommendations
  • Exhibit 2 – The AC3 audio example
  • Exhibit 3 – Possible foreign interests

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Technologies

Broadcasting
Digital Media
Regulations & Government Policies

Number of pages 19

Status Archived

Last updated 19 Mar 2006
Update History

Analyst: Paul Budde

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