The Federal Government has met its deadline to switch-off all analog television signals across regional Queensland under its Digital Switchover Program.
The milestone, first set out in May, was announced by communications minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, who said regional Queensland would have access to digital-only channels under the scheme now that analog signals have switched off permanently since 9am this morning.
According to Conroy, regional Queensland makes up about one million households that have switched to digital-only TV.
“Regional Queensland is the fourth and largest region to switch to digital-only TV,” Conroy said in a statement.
“The Gillard government’s investment in equalising TV services for regional and rural Australia includes the Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) service, which is available for those that cannot receive adequate terrestrial reception.”
VAST includes 16 free-to-air digital channels plus a dedicated regional news channel, Conroy said, including ABC1, ABC2, ABC3, ABC24, SBS1, SBS2, SBSHD, ONE, Eleven, Gem, Go!, 7Two, 7mate, WIN, Channel Seven and Southern Cross Ten.
The Household Assistance Scheme is also available for eligible households which must receive the maximum rate of either the Age Pension, Disability Support Pension, Carer Payment, Department of Veterans’ Affairs Service Pension or Income Support Supplement, have a functioning TV and have not yet converted to digital TV, to be able to qualify for the scheme.
It includes the supply, installation and demonstration of how to use a high-definition set top box and antenna upgrades where required and eligible.
Applications for the scheme close on 25 January, 2012.
Regional Queensland follows regional Victoria’s digital-only switchover in May, when Conroy switched off analog signals for 455,000 households across the area.
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