Queensland next in line for digital TV switchover: DBCDE

Department of broadband seeks supplier for subsidy scheme

The Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) is continuing its digital TV rollout across Australia with registered households in southern, north and central Queensland next in line for the switchover as analog TV signals are slowly phased out.

The Queensland rollout follows those in Mildura Sunraysia, Victoria and South Australia. The digital switchover will be completed in all areas of Australia by 31 December 2013.

Households that meet the eligibility requirements of the Digital Switchover Satellite Subsidy scheme will be registered. Those eligible for the scheme are households dependent on local analog self-help transmitters that are not being upgraded to digital.

According to department documents, it is seeking suppliers for the provision and installation of the subsidised standard package.

“It is expected that applications for the scheme in Queensland will open in April 2011 with services being provided in the period May 2011 to November 2011. Some residual services may be required to be provided in February 2012,” state the documents.

The successful supplier will be required to procure and install the equipment comprising the subsidised standard package, conduct any necessary cabling and antenna work associated with the conversion to digital television and demonstrate how to use the installed set-top box to customers.

Tenderers are required to tender for all areas of the Queensland rollout, but the Department intends to select a supplier that represents the best value for money in each contract area.

There are approximately 8900 households in the southern and central areas that are estimated to be eligible for the scheme, while some 5883 households in the Tropical North can take part in the scheme.

The Department expects that a very high proportion of these households will choose to opt-in to the scheme. Successful suppliers will be paid a management fee per registered household.

It plans to place a high priority on the user friendliness of the set-top box for the elderly, people with a disability and people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

“The user friendliness of the remote control is considered a significant factor in determining the degree of user friendliness for customers in receipt of the scheme. Tenderers should also consider offering specialised accessibility/large button remote controls for customers with a vision impairment and describe this in their tender,” state the documents.

It is expected that the switchover date from analog to digital signals in Queensland will be decided by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy who recently announced a $34 million partnership with regional commercial broadcasters to provide full digital TV services to remote areas across Australia.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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Tags queenslandStephen ConroyDepartment of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE)digital tv switchover

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