K-Rudd Spending $13.6 million On Set-Top Boxes For Old People In Mildura

If you've been watching the upcoming trainwreck that is the Digital TV transition happening in the US at the moment and thinking, "I'm glad that's not us", here's a sobering thought: K-Rudd yesterday announced a $13.6 million package to supply digital set-top boxes for pensioners in Mildura, where the analogue signal will be switched off next year. Can you sense the impending doom?

Not all of the $13.6 million is for set-top boxes though - they're also introducing a satellite service to try and eliminate blackspots in the digital signal, and there'll be an extensive marketing and education campaign. The set-top boxes themselves will only be available to homes where at least one resident receives either the full age pension, the disability support pension, the carer's payment or an equivalent veteran's payment.

If an Mildurian resident finds themselves in a digital blackspot, the Government will pay for the installation of a satellite dish to receive the satellite signal, apparently. And even though there's some concern over local content on the satellite service, I think the people in Mildura should probably be concerned about being the guinea pigs for the rest of the country's digital switchover plans. Because if anything's going to go wrong (and for such a large transition, something has to), it's going to happen to them first.

At least we'll be able to gauge the damage based on what happens in the US in a couple of weeks time...

[via Australian IT]

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