Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts
Senator Ludlam asked:
What is the future for the digital TV trial run by Broadcast Australia in Sydney which carries at no charge the NITV service? What would happen to these NITV transmissions were the new owners of Broadcast Australia to close the trial down?
Given this could happen as early as August 2009, how would the Government go about continuing to provide free to air terrestrial access to NITV for the biggest single indigenous population (Sydney) if the trial did close?
Broadcast Australia operates a trial datacasting service that is authorised by a scientific licence issued by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). The trial operates in Sydney on one of the two currently unassigned UHF television channels known as ‘Channel A' and ‘Channel B'. The scientific licence for the trial is renewed on a three-monthly basis by the ACMA until Government policy on the future of unassigned channels is finalised.
Carriage of the NITV service on Broadcast Australia's datacasting trial was authorised by the ACMA in July 2008. The continuation of the datacasting trial under the scientific licence is a matter for Broadcast Australia and ACMA.
The National Indigenous Television service is the responsibility of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts Portfolio.