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ABC Announces Transitional Measures for Shortwave Closure

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has introduced a number of transitional measures aimed at the small audience living and working in the Northern Territory that favours shortwave radio when accessing ABC services. To assist this audience following the closure of shortwave services on 31 January, the ABC has offered comprehensive advice on how to best access emergency information, ABC News and entertainment. The ABC will expand this information awareness program after 31 January to ensure as many people as possible can continue to access its services.

To date, this information program has included public notices and comprehensive statements in local media, regular broadcasts on ABC Local Radio (including on shortwave), online articles and advice informing audiences of the decision and how they can continue to access ABC services.

The expansion of this service for a period after the closure of shortwave will include extra resources from the ABC in the form of an ongoing public information campaign in local media, an easy-to-access information page on ABC Local Radio websites for the NT, as well as the About The ABC website, the ABC Local Radio Facebook page and other social media platforms. The ongoing ABC Reception Advice Line, accessible by phone and email, will continue to offer dedicated audience assistance with broadcast alternatives and technological advice.

In addition the ABC will establish:

  • Email and phone registration for information packs on broadcast/technological alternatives mailed to home addresses
  • One on one phone briefings/tuition delivered through Reception Advice Line
  • Development of ‘how to’ videos accessible online and through social media, detailing how to download and access podcasts and catch-up radio programming
  • The ABC Reception Advice Line will assist with the transition to new technologies; providing information on how to access emergency services, as well as the use of modern and reliable devices such as emergency GPS beacons (EPIRBs) and affordable satellite telephones.

The ABC will also supply (donate) a VAST satellite system unit to all Royal Flying Doctor Service bases and 4WD Radio club bases in the affected region, allowing them to rebroadcast emergency or warning messages as required. The VAST satellite service is used across other large parts of the remote Australian outback where there are no shortwave broadcasts – such as in parts of the NT, all of WA, SA, QLD, and NSW. Many remote workers and travellers make use of the VAST satellite services when stationary, to access all ABC Radio and TV in digital quality.

The National Broadband Network (NBN) satellite services “Sky Muster” will also assist those in remote Australia, by providing access to all ABC online and digital content. Sky Muster provides broadband connectivity to regional and remote Australia, effectively covering mainland Australia.

Further information and specialist advice will be provided on how to access these services, including how to download catch-up radio programs and ABC podcasts to listen to whilst on the move.


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