Govt sells national transmission network

The federal government announced on Friday it has sold the National Transmission Network to NTL Australia for $650 million.

The National Transmission Network transmits radio and television programs around Australia for the ABC and SBS.

In the deal, NTL is required to continue all existing services at current service levels, in particular for community broadcasters, emergency service operators and self-help transmission groups.

According to officials, NTL has also committed to establishing a $5 million regional Communications Partnership with the federal, state and territory governments and national broadcasters. The partnership will be used to upgrade services and network infrastructure in regional and rural Australia.

According to officials, NTL's parent company in the UK is involved in the provision of transmission services. This experience should help NTL make a "significant contribution to the roll-out of digital broadcasting services across Australia, government officials believe.

According to officials, the network will be transferred to NTL once the sale is completed around May this year.

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