The digital dividend spectrum will become available mainly as a result of the switch to digital-only television broadcasting by the end of 2013. Following this, a number of digital TV services will then need to be moved to new channels (or restacked) before the 700Hz digital dividend spectrum can be made available to successful bidders. This restacking is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014.
Conroy also announced that Broadcast Australia had been appointed to develop an indicative nationwide restack timetable, in consultation with industry and the ACMA, by July 2012 and to deliver a more detailed timetable in November. "The ACMA will then complete Television Licence Area Plans containing restack windows that are consistent with these dates before proceeding to the auction," Conroy said.
"A project and implementation manager will work with broadcasters to ensure the reorganisation of affected digital TV services starts as soon as possible. Funding has also been provided to ensure that consumers are well informed about any changes in their local area and what it means for them."
AMTA welcomed the announcement with CEO Chris Althaus, saying it should give potential bidders more certainty to plan investment and deployment strategies."
"The date for complete clearance of broadcasting services from Digital Dividend spectrum is very important to provide industry with certainty and confidence to progress auction planning and advance investment strategies that are vital given the lead time needed to prepare to use this critical infrastructure," he said.
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