Should Community TV be kicked off the air?

Australia’s (Sydney Morning Herald) asks: With wireless spectrum more valuable than ever, should community TV stations be shunted across to the internet?

It’s been a tumultuous few years for Australia’s airwaves, with the analog switch-off, digital retune and upcoming ban on some wireless microphones – all designed to free up spectrum so it can be auctioned off to the telcos at top dollar. Telstra, Optus and TPG coughed up $2 billion between them for a slice of the 700 MHz band and they’ve already started to roll out new services.

Amid this commotion, the government and commercial television broadcasters have been negotiating as to how they might better use their extra digital channels, such as broadcasting live sport which is currently required by law to run on their primary channel – even though it’s an obsolete concept in the digital age.

The commercial networks also launched a raft of new infomercial channels – a valuable community service which lets you learn more about high-tech blenders and robot vacuum cleaners any time of the day or night.


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