There is a problem with the rollout of digital radio (DAB+) in Australia. Community radio, listened to by a quarter of Australian radio listeners, and providing content generally unshackled by commercial interests will be struggling to keep up with the costs to move to the digital age. Funding of A$3.6 million (2,8 milliion euro) per year is required to maintain a digital radio infrastructure for the 37 metropolitan community radio stations that hold digital licenses.
Having previously committed to the full amount of funding the Government now has committed to only $2.2 million per year, for four years, leaving a A$1.4 million per year shortfall.
Some community orientated stations receive Government support whilst many have a passionate supporter base and volunteer group that keep sector not just broadcasting, but thriving. Some community radio stations have managed to make the transition to digital broadcasting, though they are few and unfortunately, an expense such as the conversion to digital is almost impossible to cover using the conventional station income sources.
Yet the switching off of analogue services could begin as early as 2021 (only eight years away).
“The Commit to Community Radio campaign,” has been established to get this $1.4 million shortfall addressed. Unaddressed, this shortfall is likely to see community digital radio services switched off.”
Read the full story Digital Radio Shortfall in Itwire.com
Also read Digital Local Radio Wants More Government Funding