Sunday, April 22, 2007

Digital Broadcasters |Aussie ABC Massively Expands NewsRadio network

ABC Australia, already one of the world's biggest radio networks in terms of terrestrial transmission coverage, informed Digital Broadcasters Vendor News that it is going one step further. Within three years it will make ABC NewsRadio its third main network after ABC Local Radio and ABC Radio National, terrestrially reaching all Aussie communities with a population of 10,000. That massively expands NewsRadio reach to 95 per cent of Australia's population. On April 18, 2007 in Wagga Wagga Senator the Hon Helen Coonan, Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts gave the project its formal start helped by ABC Director Radio & Regional Content, Sue Howard. Of the digitally supported project, Ms Howard said that this was a massive technological undertaking and important initiative for the ABC. The first stage of the roll out should be on May 1 when current trials will be completed for Wagga Wagga (105.1FM) and the surrounding South Western Slopes countryside(91.5FM) adding 1.2 million listeners to the ABC NewsRadio network. Stages two and three have the potential to extend the service to a further 3 million people by 2009. Three new frequencies will come on line each month until the project is completed. These are mostly FM but some are AM. ABC NewsRadio management says it is Australia's only continuous news format station with 24/7 broadcasts that include breaking news, sport, finance, weather, and when its sits, live coverage of Federal Parliamentary proceedings in Canberra.

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