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Australian Regional Digital Radio Report

Stakeholder, public survey find support for DAB+, but consideration for DRM30/DRM+ also given

The Australian Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) has completed its review of digital radio technologies. While DAB+ is in use in the five largest metro areas of the county, and demonstration and test DAB+ multiplexes are operational in other cities, the question of how best to spread digital radio across the country has remained open.

The report does not make specific recommendations, but it did note a general preference among the comments received for the expansion of DAB+ across the county, although there was also a recognition that it might not be well suited to all areas. Among the questions that need to be addressed before a final decision is made, according the report, are the availability of suitable spectrum, terrain diversity and receiver availability.

While DAB+ operating in VHF band III was the preferred solution, DRM+ in VHF band I or band III and DRM30 at 26 MHz, a frequency currently reserved in Australia for digital radio, were also mentioned as possible solutions, although concerns were expressed about the practicality or availability of DAB/DRM multistandard receivers.