Australian Communications & Media Authority Releases Discussion Paper ‘Clearing the Digital Dividend’ for Public Discussion
Australia (News4us.com) February 28, 2011
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has released Clearing the Digital Dividend, a discussion paper signalling the second step in a three step process to realising the digital dividend.
There are three steps to realising the digital dividend:
- Completion of the switchover to digital TV;
- Clearance of digital TV services from the block of UHF spectrum corresponding to TV channels 52-69; and
- Reallocation of the cleared spectrum to new users.
The discussion paper focuses on the process of clearing digital TV services from the digital dividend spectrum, commonly known as restack.
Following the switchover from analog to digital TV a significant amount of spectrum will be freed up. This freed spectrum is known as the digital dividend. The Minister’s announcement in June 2010 identified the size (126 MHz) and frequency band (694-820 MHz) of the UHF digital dividend.
This discussion paper (Clearing the Digital Dividend – Planning objectives and principles for restacking digital television channels) sets out the proposed objectives and planning principles that will govern the preparation of channel plans for the restack. The ACMA is seeking input from the broadcasting industry and other interested stakeholders.
The most critical planning principle decision relates to the overall planning approach to be followed for restack channel planning. Analyses of two different planning approaches is summarised in the discussion paper but more details of the analyses are contained in four supporting reports. These reports explain and evaluate the alternative planning approaches. Having considered the analyses of planning approaches, the ACMA has formed the preliminary view that a ‘block’ planning approach should be adopted.
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