Tasmania Tasmania switchover area Switchover window 1 January 30 June 2013

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1 Tasmania Tasmania switchover area Switchover window 1 January 30 June 2013 MAY 2012 This switchover area report was prepared by the ACMA and provided to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) approximately 12 months prior to the end of the identified switchover window for this area. The early provision of switchover area reports to DBCDE allows an appropriate amount of time for discussions between the government and broadcasters to address any identified issues prior to the switch-off of analog television services. This report does not account for any subsequent government policy decisions or changes in broadcasting infrastructure or programming since that time. For up-to-date information on the switch to digital television, visit the DBCDE Are you READY for digital TV website.

2 Canberra Purple Building Benjamin Offices Chan Street Belconnen ACT PO Box 78 Belconnen ACT 2616 T F Melbourne Level 44 Melbourne Central Tower 360 Elizabeth Street Melbourne VIC PO Box Law Courts Melbourne VIC 8010 T F Sydney Level 5 The Bay Centre 65 Pirrama Road Pyrmont NSW PO Box Q500 Queen Victoria Building NSW 1230 T F Commonwealth of Australia 2012 This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from the Commonwealth. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to the Manager, Editorial Services, Australian Communications and Media Authority, PO Box Law Courts, Melbourne Vic Published by the Australian Communications and Media Authority

3 Contents Coverage evaluation matrix 4 Executive summary 5 Tasmania switchover area 8 Coverage evaluation 13 The ACMA s CEP methodology 13 Digital channel plans 13 Implementation plans 14 Survey planning 14 Field survey measurement program 15 Same 15 Signal-deficient areas 15 Fortuitous reception issues 16 Conclusion 17 Appendix A 18 Tasmania switchover area 18 Appendix B 19 Transmission sites in the Tasmania switchover area 19 Appendix C 20 Licence areas overlapping within the Tasmania switchover area 20 Appendix D 21 Measurement locations in the Tasmania switchover area 21 Appendix E 22 Urban centre/locality-specific results for the Tasmania switchover area 22 acma iii

4 Coverage evaluation matrix The following table references typical terms used in this report as a description of digital and reception. As these terms have specific technical and engineering definitions, the table has been prepared to provide the reader with a reference point. Category Coverage description Affected services Field strength Evaluation Reception quality Description of issue Strong Suburban + 12 db Above threshold n/a No issues Very good All Suburban + 6 db Above threshold n/a Good Suburban Above threshold n/a Potential minor issues Adequate At least one below suburban threshold Rural Above threshold While adequate should provide good signal reception over an area, some statistical signal variations could potentially cause occasional reception difficulties. The rural notional receiving system with 10m antenna height* may be required in some areas to avoid digital reception issues. *As defined in the Digital Issues Poor No At least one below rural threshold All Below rural Below threshold Terrestrial Television Broadcasting Planning Handbook, the ABA, Isolated^ affects less than approximately 5% of the populated area Patchy^ affects between approximately 5% and 25% of the populated area Widespread^ affects more than approximately 25% of the populated area ^Please note that this percentage figure should not be used to calculate the percentage of affected population. 4 acma

5 Executive summary The Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) performed field survey measurements as part of its evaluation program (CEP) across the Tasmania switchover area from November 2011 to March Based on the evidence gathered through prediction modelling and survey measurements, the ACMA has determined that the planned digital services in the switchover area that have been rolled out are, in general, achieving the same level of and potential reception quality in digital mode as is provided by existing analog television services (referred to as the same policy objective ). 1 In coming to this conclusion, the CEP did note that frequency band changes and localised terrain obstructions are potentially causing discrepancies between Southern Cross Media (TNT) analog and digital simulcast services from the North East (NE) Tasmania transmitter to isolated locations in the township of Railton (population 901). While the ACMA has determined that broadcasters are generally achieving the same policy objective, allowances for the different broadcast characteristics of analog and digital television signals must be considered in the overall analysis. Railton is served by the NE Tasmania transmitter, where the TNT analog service is operating in VHF band III while the corresponding digital service is operating in the UHF band V broadcast spectrum. The band change, coupled with localised terrain obstructions, is causing some apparent discrepancies between analog and digital. Allowing for variable factors including the outlined legacy VHF analog services, existing broadcasting infrastructure, specific propagation conditions, and differences between analog and digital broadcasting characteristics, the CEP has concluded that all digital services appear to have been appropriately planned and implemented to, as far as practicably possible, achieve the same policy objective. The affected areas in Railton, where band changes and localised terrain are causing apparent isolated discrepancies in TNT, are considered to be signal-deficient, experiencing generally unreliable analog and digital reception of all services. Therefore, any potential issues related to individual services are more accurately reported and effectively addressed as part of the signal-deficient nature of all services to these isolated The CEP has also identified that a number of households in marginal or signaldeficient areas are likely to experience poor analog and digital television reception. Potential widespread reception issues have been identified in the townships of Bicheno (639), Binalong Bay (205), Branxholm (241), Collinsvale (294), Currie (746), Fingal (341), Forth (559), Hillwood (608), Lilydale (599), Maydena (245), Queenstown (2,115), Railton (901), Ridgley (773), Ringarooma (215), Rosebery (1,030), St Marys (524), Scamander (1,063), Sisters Beach (379), Smithton (3,356), Stanley (459), Strahan (637), Swansea (559), Tullah (196), Waratah (280) and Zeehan (844). In addition, Bothwell (379), Burnie-Somerset (6,149), Mole Creek (687) and Primrose Sands (897) are likely to experience patchy reception issues. The ACMA has identified other locations where viewers could potentially experience some isolated or minor reception issues (see Appendix E for area-specific details). 1 The same policy objective as outlined in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 states that as soon as is practicable after the commencement of the required analog/digital television simulcast period in an area, broadcasters must provide the same level of in digital mode as is provided by existing corresponding analog television services. acma 5

6 On 11 May 2010, the government announced that broadcasters will convert to digital a substantial number of existing analog self-help retransmission facilities/services. It was also announced that a number of new digital gap filler sites/services will be implemented to provide terrestrial television to nominated Three of the 14 retransmission sites that operate in the Tasmania switchover area Forth, Neika/Leslie Vale, and Sisters Beach are being considered by broadcasters for conversion from analog to digital. In addition, there are six hybrid sites 2 located at Derby, Hillwood, Maydena, Meander, Ringarooma and St Helens. The ABC and SBS are yet to roll out services from Hillwood. is yet to roll out TVT service in Meydena. Southern Cross Media and are yet to roll out TNT services from Derby and Meydena, and TDT services from Darby, Hillwood and Maydena. Meanwhile, broadcasters plan to convert SBS and analog self-help retransmission services to digital at Derby; TNT and TVT analog selfhelp retransmission services to digital at Hillwood; ABC and SBS analog self-help retransmission services to digital at Maydena; and SBS analog self-help retransmission service to digital at St Helens. In addition to the conversion of self-help services, broadcasters are considering the installation of digital gap filler sites at Currie for TNT, TVT and TDT services. The gap filler and self-help retransmission sites, including the self-help services in hybrid sites, are not planned in the DCPs and broadcasters are not legislatively obliged to submit implementation plans (IPs) or roll out the services at any given point in time. Until a finalised list of self-help conversions and gap filler installations is officially advised, this information should be considered as indicative only. It is possible that areas served by an analog self-help facility that is not converted to digital will become signal-deficient after the analog switch-off. The ACMA has received IPs for the majority of planned services listed in the DCPs for this switchover area. The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has approved all expected IPs for ABC and SBS (national services). The Southern Cross Media is yet to submit IPs for TNT services at Bicheno, Derby, Dover South, King Island, Lileah, Maydena, Queenstown/Zeehan, Rosebery, Smithton, Strahan, Swansea, and Waratah. is yet to submit IPs for TVT services at Bicheno, Binalong Bay, Dover South, King Island, Lileah, Maydena, Queenstown/Zeehan, Rosebery, Smithton, St Helen, St Marys, Strahan, Swansea, and Waratah. The Southern Cross Media / are yet to submit IPs for TDT services at Bicheno, Binalong Bay, Derby, Dover South, King Island, Lileah, Maydena, Queenstown/Zeehan, Rosebery, Smithton, St Helen, St Marys, Strahan, Swansea, and Waratah. According to the ACMA s records, the majority of expected national and commercial services have been rolled out in the switchover area. The exceptions are TNT, TVT, TDT digital services at Bicheno, Dover South, King Island, Lileah, Queenstown/Zeehan, Rosebery, Smithton, Strahan, Swansea and Waratah. The ACMA will continue to monitor service implementation and rollout in conjunction with field survey measurement results to ensure that broadcasters are meeting their same obligations. Broadcasters are not considering implementing SBS digital services that are not available in analog from Bicheno, Binalong Bay, King Island, Rosebery, St Marys, Strahan, Swansea, and Waratah. The transmission sites at Gladstone, Goshen/Goulds Country, Port Sorell and Savage River provide only ABC digital services. In addition, the transmission sites at Barrington Valley and Lilydale provide 2 A hybrid site is a transmitter with a mix of broadcaster-owned and -operated and self-help services. 6 acma

7 only ABC and SBS digital services. Other broadcasters are not considering implementing their digitial service at these sites. The exising analog ABC only transmission sites at Mangana, Pyengana Valley, South Springfield and Weldborough, analog ABC and TVT only transmission site at Strathgordon and analog TNT service at the Savage River site are unlikely to be converted to digital as alternative digital of these services is available or broadcasters can decide to apply for the roll out exemption. Households situated in remote licence area and digital terrestrial television signaldeficient areas will have access to the Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) service in line with applicable satellite access arrangements. acma 7

8 Tasmania switchover area The Tasmania switchover area (refer to Appendix A) is located in the Tasmania TV1 licence area and and is overlapped by the Remote Central and Eastern Australia TV1 and TV2 licence areas (refer to Appendix C). The licence area is considered to be a single switchover area. The area covers approximately 51,971 square kilometres and, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006 Census data, has an estimated population of 473,820. For the purpose of the ACMA s assessments, a total of 105 urban centres/localities were identified within the switchover area. 3 The switchover area is served by multiple transmission sites due to the rugged terrain. Throughout the switchover area there are forty broadcaster-owned and operated translator sites (including one In-Band Link [IBL] site), six hybrid sites, 15 analog selfhelp retransmission facilities including one community licensed digital retransmission facility (refer to Appendix B). As previously mentioned, there is a possibility that additional digital gap filler facilities/services may be implemented at Currie for TNT, TVT and TDT digital services. Tables 1 to 3 outline all existing sites in the switchover area and provide a summary of services and switchover characteristics/solutions. A/D indicates analog or digital transmission, letters designate the service call sign of the broadcaster, numbers designate the radiofrequency channel number, $ indicates retransmission service and V/H indicates signal polarisation. Table 1 Broadcaster-owned and -operated sites Area served ABC SBS Net 7 Net 9 Net 10 Broadcaster converted services - DCP planned, IP approved, same objective; Acton Road Barrington Valley Bicheno *Alternative digital of the service is provided from other site(s) or broadcaster to apply for roll out exemption A:ABC55 H D:ABC36 H A:ABC46 H D:ABC48 H A:ABC10 H D:ABC36 H A:SBS52 H D:SBS35 H A:SBS37 H D:SBS31 H A:TNT61 H D:TNT38 H A:TNT48 H D:TNT34 H A:TVT58 H D:TVT37 H A:TVT8 H D:TVT37 H / D:TDT51 H / D:TDT39 H Binalong Bay A:ABC33 V D:ABC37 V A:TNT39 V D:TNT65 V A:TVT42 V D:TVT47 V / D:TDT46 V Burnie A:ABC58 V D:ABC67 V A:SBS55 V D:SBS66 V A:TNT61 V D:TNT65 V A:TVT47 V D:TVT49 V / D:TDT68 V 3 In broad terms, an urban centre is a population cluster of 1,000 or more people, while a locality is a population cluster of between 200 and 999 people. This geographical structure is defined by the 1996 Census edition of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification. 8 acma

9 Cygnet A:ABC45 H D:ABC44 H A:SBS42 H D:SBS41 H A:TNT51 H D:TNT50 H A:TVT48 H D:TVT47 H / D:TDT52 H Dover A:ABC56 V D:ABC58 V A:SBS53 V D:SBS55 V A:TNT62 V D:TNT64 V A:TVT59 V D:TVT61 V / D:TDT65 V Dover South A:ABC44 V D:ABC43 V A:SBS41 V D:SBS40 V A:TNT50 V D:TNT41 V A:TVT47 V D:TVT42 V / D:TDT44 V East Devonport A:ABC57 H D:ABC45 H A:SBS54 H D:SBS39 H A:TNT51 D D:TNT40 H A:TVT60 H D:TVT42 H / D:TDT36 H Geeveston A:ABC57 D D:ABC58 D A:SBS54 D D:SBS55 D A:TNT63 D D:TNT64 D A:TVT60 D D:TVT61 D / D:TDT65 D Gladstone A:ABC54 V D:ABC65 V Goshen/Goulds Country A:ABC57 H D:ABC65 H Hobart A:ABC2 H D:ABC8 H A:SBS28 H D:SBS9A H A:TNT31 H D:TNT10 H A:TVT6 H D:TVT7 H / D:TDT11 H Hobart NE suburbs A:ABC57 H D:ABC56 H A:SBS54 H D:SBS64 H A:TNT63 H D:TNT62 H A:TVT60 H D:TVT65 H / D:TDT66 H King Island A:ABC11 H D:ABC57 H A:TNT8 H D:TNT48 H A:TVT6 H D:TVT49 H / D:TDT50 H Launceston A:ABC56 H D:ABC65 H A:SBS53 H D:SBS64 H A:TNT11 H D:TNT60 H A:TVT62 H D:TVT63 H / D:TDT66 H Lileah A:ABC8 V D:ABC9 V A:SBS53 V D:SBS9A V A:TNT6 V D:TNT7 V A:TVT50 V D:TVT10 V / D:TDT12 V Lilydale A:ABC57 V D:ABC65 V A:SBS54 V D:SBS64 V Mangana A:ABC55 H Montumana IBL 4 D:ABC59 V D:TNT56 V A:TVT62 V NE Tasmania A:ABC32 H D:ABC41 H A:SBS29 H D:SBS44 H A:TNT9 H D:TNT38 H A:TVT35 H D:TVT50 H / D:TDT52 H New Norfolk A:ABC56 H D:ABC57 H A:SBS53 H D:SBS54 H A:TNT62 H D:TNT63 H A:TVT59 H D:TVT60 H / D:TDT51 H Orford A:ABC55 V D:ABC36 V A:SBS52 V D:SBS37 V A:TNT61 V D:TNT47 V A:TVT58 V D:TVT43 V / D:TDT39 V Penguin A:ABC31 V D:ABC45 V A:SBS34 V D:SBS60 V A:TNT28 V D:TNT40 V A:TVT43 V D:TVT63 V / D:TDT36 V 4 In-Band Link (IBL) site not DCP planned, no IP required, no same obligation, not all services in analog or digital. acma 9

10 Port Sorell A:ABC64 V D:ABC53 V Pyengana Valley A:ABC33 H Queenstown/Zeehan A:ABC56 D D:ABC47 D A:SBS53 D D:SBS46 D A:TNT59 D D:TNT48 D A:TVT8 H D:TVT49 D / D:TDT50 D Rosebery A:ABC33 H D:ABC32 H A:TNT39 H D:TNT31 H A:TVT10 H D:TVT29 H / D:TDT30 H Savage River A:ABC4 H D:ABC39 V A:TNT7 H Smithton A:ABC32 V D:ABC31 V A:SBS38 V D:SBS37 V A:TNT11 V D:TNT28 V A:TVT35 V D:TVT30 V / D:TDT33 V South Springfield A:ABC56 V St Marys A:ABC56 V D:ABC53 V A:TNT11 V D:TNT60 V A:TVT62 V D:TVT63 V / D:TDT68 V Strahan A:ABC57 H D:ABC58 H A:TNT60 H D:TNT42 H A:TVT63 H D:TVT43 H / D:TDT44 H Strathgordon A:ABC43 H A:TVT8 H Swansea A:ABC57 V D:ABC58 V A:TNT63 V D:TNT48 V A:TVT60 V D:TVT49 V / D:TDT51 V Taroona A:ABC46 V D:ABC45 V A:SBS43 V D:SBS42 V A:TNT49 V D:TNT48 V A:TVT40 V D:TVT39 V / D:TDT41 V Ulverstone A:ABC59 H D:ABC45 H A:SBS53 H D:SBS39 H A:TNT56 H D:TNT40 H A:TVT62 H D:TVT42 H / D:TDT36 H Waratah A:ABC57 H D:ABC54 D A:TNT49 H D:TNT34 H A:TVT63 H D:TVT36 H / D:TDT37 H Weldborough A:ABC56 H Wynyard A:ABC33 V D:ABC45 V A:SBS30 V D:SBS29 V A:TNT39 V D:TNT40 V A:TVT42 V D:TVT35 V / D:TDT36 V 10 acma

11 Table 2 Self-help retransmission sites Area served ABC SBS Net 7 Net 9 Net 10 Community-funded analog digital not planned in DCP, no IPs, no same requirement. Blackstone (TAS) ($ indicates retransmission service) A:ABC55$ V A:SBS47$ V A:TNT58$ V A:TVT61$ V Currie Digital Retransmission D:ABC37$ V D:SBS34$ V D:TNT40$ V D:TVT43$ V / D:TDT46$ V Eaglehawk Neck A:ABC56$ V A:SBS53$ V A:TNT62$ V A:TVT59$ V Forth A:ABC43$ H D:ABC41$ H A:SBS34$ H D:SBS44$ H A:TNT31$ H D:TNT38$ H A:TVT28$ H D:TVT42$ H / D:TDT43$ H Gunns Plains A:ABC57$ V A:SBS54$ V A:TNT60$ V A:TVT63$ V Little Swanport/Ravensdale A:ABC56$ D A:SBS53$ D A:TNT62$ D A:TVT59$ D Mole Creek A:ABC57$ V A:SBS54$ V A:TNT60$ V A:TVT63$ V Neika/Leslie Vale A:ABC56$ H D:ABC47$ H A:SBS53$ H D:SBS46$ H A:TNT62$ H D:TNT48$ H A:TVT50$ H D:TVT49$ H / D:TDT50$ H Paloona A:ABC47$ H A:SBS61$ H A:TNT58$ H A:TVT55$ H Port Arthur A:ABC56$ H A:SBS53$ H A:TNT62$ H A:TVT59$ H Sisters Beach A:ABC60$ V D:ABC47$ H A:SBS57$ V D:SBS46$ H A:TNT63$ V D:TNT48$ H A:TVT54$ V D:TVT49$ H / D:TDT51$ H Tullah A:ABC55$ H A:SBS52$ H A:TNT58$ H A:TVT61$ H Upper Derwent Valley A:ABC58$ V A:SBS55$ V A:TNT49$ V A:TVT52$ V Wayatinah A:ABC46$ H A:SBS52$ H A:TNT49$ H A:TVT55$ H Wilmot A:ABC56$ V A:SBS53$ V A:TNT59$ V A:TVT62$ V acma 11

12 Table 3 Hybrid sites Area served ABC SBS Net 7 Net 9 Net 10 Part broadcaster converted services - DCP planned, IP required, same objective, Part community-funded analog digital not planned in DCP, no IPs, no same requirement. Derby (Tas) ($ indicates retransmission service) A:ABC57 H D:ABC65 H A:SBS54$ H D:SBS47$ H A:TNT11 H D:TNT48 H A:TVT63$ H D:TVT49 H / D:TDT51 H Hillwood A:ABC46 H D:ABC47 H A:SBS37 H D:SBS46 H A:TNT40$ H D:TNT48 H A:TVT43$ H D:TVT49 H / D:TDT50 H Maydena A:ABC61$ H D:ABC42$ H A:SBS43$ H D:SBS43$ H A:TNT46 H D:TNT45 H A:TVT40 H D:TVT41 H / D:TDT44 H Meander A:ABC56 V D:ABC55 V A:SBS53 V D:SBS47 V A:TNT59$ V A:TVT62$ V Ringarooma A:ABC55 H D:ABC65 H A:SBS46$ H A:TNT61$ H A:TVT58$ H St Helens A:ABC31 V D:ABC37 V A:SBS34$ V D:SBS28$ V A:TNT7 H D:TNT45 V A:TVT40 V D:TVT47 V / D:TDT46 V 12 acma

13 Coverage evaluation The ACMA s CEP methodology Figure 1 Methodology for the ACMA s CEP Figure 1 outlines the multi-layered methodology for the ACMA s CEP. This program seeks to assess whether the same objective has been met by relevant broadcasters in a particular switchover area. The CEP also seeks to determine the boundaries of digital terrestrial, identify areas of marginal or inconsistent digital terrestrial, and verify the planning technical specifications and assumptions provided by broadcasters in their implementation plans. In addition, the program provides essential feedback on the accuracy of the ACMA s initial desktop modelling. Digital channel plans To facilitate the introduction of digital television, the ACMA developed national and commercial DCPs in line with the Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting Planning Handbook and its obligations under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (BSA). DCPs determine which channels are to be allotted to each area, the assignment of channels to each broadcaster in that area and the technical characteristics of those channels. DCPs are developed to give broadcasters the maximum envelope in which to plan their digital transmission for an area, to achieve the policy objective of the same level of the and potential reception quality as is available in analog mode. The National and Commercial DCP for Tasmania Part 1: Hobart was finalised in October 1999, and was renamed to DCP for Tasmania by variation in December The DCPs for Tasmania have since been varied to alter existing services and include additional services. acma 13

14 Implementation plans In accordance with the national and commercial television conversion schemes prepared by the ACMA under Schedule 4 to the BSA, commercial and national television broadcasters are required to prepare IPs relating to the conversion of the transmission of their services from analog to digital mode. IPs are a commitment by individual broadcasters to provide a television service in digital mode from specified sites to cover defined areas by specified dates. The aim is to achieve the same in standard definition television digital mode as that service provides in analog mode. This objective is to be achieved as soon as is practicable after the simulcast period begins. 5 The ACMA has received IPs for the majority of planned services listed in the DCPs for this switchover area. The minister has approved all expected IPs for ABC and SBS (national services). The Southern Cross Media is yet to submit IPs for TNT services at Bicheno, Derby, Dover South, King Island, Lileah, Maydena, Queenstown/Zeehan, Rosebery, Smithton, Strahan, Swansea, and Waratah. is yet to submit IPs for TVT services at Bicheno, Binalong Bay, Dover South, King Island, Lileah, Maydena, Queenstown/Zeehan, Rosebery, Smithton, St Helen, St Marys, Strahan, Swansea, and Waratah. The Southern Cross Media / are yet to submit IPs for TDT services at Bicheno, Binalong Bay, Derby, Dover South, King Island, Lileah, Maydena, Queenstown/Zeehan, Rosebery, Smithton, St Helen, St Marys, Strahan, Swansea, and Waratah. As previously outlined, broadcasters are considering the conversion of a number of existing analog self-help sites to digital as well as the implementation of new digital gap filler services. These services are not planned in the DCPs and so there is no obligation for broadcasters to submit IPs to the ACMA or roll out services at any particular point in time. Survey planning As part of its methodology for assessing same and potential reception quality, the ACMA undertakes desktop modelling of a switchover area. This takes into account terrain, complaints to the ACMA from viewers within the area and, where possible, technical specifications of transmission facilities as outlined in implementation plans provided by broadcasters. At the time of writing, a total of six ministerial enquiries and 21 complaints had been initiated in the Tasmania switchover area. The issues concerned both analog and digital reception. In addition, a total of 545 Out of Area Direct to Home satellite applications were approved within the licence area. 6 The findings of the desktop modelling process inform the ACMA field survey measurement program. The Tasmania switchover area survey planning provided guidance to the ACMA s field staff on where field measurements within the switchover market should be conducted. This includes predicted or potential reception-deficient areas and other information on transmission facilities in the area. 5 A period in which a broadcaster is required to simultaneously transmit television services in analog and standard definition TV digital mode. 6 A satellite system enabling the delivery of national and commercial analog television services to households within a commercial terrestrial licence area that experience poor or no of local free-toair commercial television. 14 acma

15 Field survey measurement program The field survey measurement program enables the ACMA to acquire technical and signal data associated with analog and digital TV and reception quality within a switchover area. The program is part of the ACMA s CEP (Figure 1) and seeks to verify the information provided by broadcasters in their IPs as well as the predictions made as part of the ACMA s initial desktop modelling. The ACMA s CEP performed field survey measurements at 598 locations throughout the switchover area between November 2011 and March 2012 (see Appendix D). The measurement results have been analysed and compared against the most appropriate prediction models for the area. Field survey results align closely with predicted findings and provide the ACMA with a high level of confidence in its CEP methodologies. Same Policy objectives under Parts 2 and 3 of Schedule 4 to the BSA state that national and commercial broadcasters must, as soon as practicable after the start of the simulcast period, provide the same level of and potential reception quality in digital mode as is broadcast in analog mode. The CEP identified some apparent discrepancies between analog and digital television with TNT service to isolated spots in Railton. This discrepancy is likely caused by the band change from VHF analog to UHF digital service, coupled with generally weak and terrain-obstructed analog and digital services. The impact, if any, on viewers in Railton, where band changes and localised terrain are causing apparent isolated discrepancies between TNT analog and digital services, is likely to be minimal. The affected isolated spots are considered to be signal-deficient, experiencing generally unreliable analog and digital reception of all services. Therefore, any potential issues related to individual services are more accurately reported and effectively addressed as part of the signal-deficient nature of all services to these isolated An assessment of services indicated that all digital services appear to have been appropriately planned and implemented to, as far as practicably possible, achieve the same policy objective. When assessing same, a number of factors and constraints must be considered as part of a broader assessment. Relevant considerations include CEP measurement data, any legacy VHF analog services, existing broadcasting infrastructure, specific propagation conditions, and different analog and digital broadcasting characteristics. Based on the results of the CEP for the Tasmania switchover area, the ACMA concludes that the same level of and potential reception quality is in general being achieved by licensed broadcasters (see Appendix E for breakdown of localityspecific results). Signal-deficient areas The CEP has identified that a number of households in marginal or signal-deficient areas are likely to experience poor analog and digital television reception. Potential widespread reception issues have been identified in the townships of Bicheno (639), Binalong Bay (205), Branxholm (241), Collinsvale (294), Currie (746), Fingal (341), Forth (559), Hillwood (608), Lilydale (599), Maydena (245), Queenstown (2,115), Railton (901), Ridgley (773), Ringarooma (215), Rosebery (1,030), St Marys (524), Scamander (1,063), Sisters Beach (379), Smithton (3,356), Stanley (459), Strahan (637), Swansea (559), Tullah (196), Waratah (280) and Zeehan (844). In addition, Bothwell (379), Burnie-Somerset (6,149), Mole Creek (687) and Primrose Sands (897) acma 15

16 are likely to experience patchy reception issues. The ACMA identified other locations where viewers could potentially experience some isolated or minor reception issues (see Appendix E for area-specific details). On 11 May 2010, the government announced that under an agreement reached with all television broadcasters across Australia, broadcasters will upgrade a substantial number of existing regional and metropolitan analog self-help retransmission facilities/services to operate in digital, while the government will fund the VAST satellite service. Broadcasters are also implementing a number of new digital gap filler sites/services to provide terrestrial television to nominated This would enable all television viewers in Australia to have access to the full range of freeto-air digital television services. Broadcasters are considering three of the existing 14 analog self-help sites at Forth, Neika/Leslie Vale, and Sisters Beach for conversion to digital as well as the implementation of new digital gap filler services at Currie. In addition there are six hybrid sites located at Derby, Hillwood, Maydena, Meander, Ringarooma and St Helens. Broadcasters plan to covert SBS and analog self-help retransmission services to digital at Derby, TNT and TVT analog retransmission services to digital at Hillwood, ABC and SBS analog self-help retransmission services to digital at Maydena, and SBS analog self-help retransmission service to digital at St Helens. These services are not planned in the DCPs and so there is no obligation for broadcasters to submit IPs to the ACMA or roll out services at any particular point in time. There is a possibility that areas served by an analog self-help facility that is not converted to digital will become signal-deficient after the analog switch-off. Until a finalised list of self-help conversions and gap filler installations is officially advised, this information should be considered as indicative only. Broadcasters are not considering implementing SBS digital services that are not available in analog from Bicheno, Binalong Bay, King Island, Rosebery, St Marys, Strahan, Swansea, and Waratah. The transmission sites at Gladstone, Goshen/Goulds Country, Port Sorell and Savage River provide only ABC digital services. In addition, the transmission sites at Barrington Valley and Lilydale provide only ABC and SBS digital services. Other broadcasters are not considering implementing their digitial service at these sites. The exising analog ABC only transmission sites at Mangana, Pyengana Valley, South Springfield and Weldborough, analog ABC and TVT only transmission site at Strathgordon and analog TNT service at the Savage River site are unlikely to be converted to digital as alternative digital of these services is available or broadcasters can decide to apply for the roll out exemption. Fortuitous reception issues The BSA mandates that broadcasting services be licensed and planned to serve specific geographic In some circumstances it is possible, through CEP operational observations, for the ACMA to determine that households are receiving, or attempting to receive, television broadcast services that are not planned to serve their area. This form of reception is considered fortuitous. It is possible that households receiving fortuitous broadcast signals may experience reception difficulties before and/or after analog switch-off as the reception of distant weak television signals outside the planned service area will be generally unreliable and potentially interfere with planned services. Fortuitous reception difficulties may also appear when analog switch-off occurs in adjacent switchover Due to the relatively isolated nature of the Tasmania switchover area, the CEP has determined that there are no fortuitous reception issues in this switchover area. 16 acma

17 Conclusion The ACMA is confident that the Tasmania switchover is progressing in accordance with the digital television switchover timetable and that broadcasters are in general meeting their obligations for IP submissions, same and service rollout. No major issues are currently present or foreseen that would impede the switch-off of analog television broadcast services. As previously indicated, the majority of IPs has been submitted for planned digital services. The ACMA will continue to liaise with relevant broadcasters and is confident that all services to this area will be successfully rolled out in accordance with planning guidelines and technical specifications before the end of the simulcast period. In terms of television from broadcaster-owned and operated terrestrial transmission facilities, the ACMA has identified a number of areas that may experience reception issues. In consultation with broadcasters and industry representatives, the government is currently considering a number of options to provide alternative access to digital television. Broadcasters are currently listing three existing analog self-help retransmission facilities/services in this switchover area for conversion to digital to extend or improve reception in signal-deficient Broadcasters are also currently considering the installation of a gap filler service in the switchover area to extend or improve digital television to identified Those households situated in digital signaldeficient areas may be able to apply to receive VAST satellite service in line with applicable access and subsidy arrangements. DBCDE s Digital Switchover Taskforce (DST) is responsible for overseeing Australia s transition to digital television. The ACMA provides advice and consults widely with DST, broadcasters, industry representatives and the public to assist in facilitating an effective switch from analog to digital television. acma 17

18 Appendix A Tasmania switchover area 18 acma

19 Appendix B Transmission sites in the Tasmania switchover area acma 19

20 Appendix C Licence areas overlapping within the Tasmania switchover area 20 acma

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