Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, has confirmed that major cities will only be broadcasting free-to-air in a digital signal by 2009. The nation-wide switch to digital television is to occur by 2013. According to Senator Conroy:
Setting a firm date of 2013 for the switchover from analogue to digital television transmission in Australia has given industry the certainty it needs to drive consumer uptake of digital television.
Until now, industry has had no declared end date and has been unable to plan effectively for digital television.
The new targets are an amendment of initial proposals by the Howard Government to implement the switch in cities by 2008 (and nationwide by 2012). Labor considers that imminent date to be an impossible target for consumers and industry to adjust to the change. [DBCDE via The Australian]