Talco/satellite operator Optus has welcomed the decision to extend funding for Viewer Access Satellite TV (VAST) to 2031/2032 announced in the Australian Federal Government’s recent budget.
Optus says, “these funds will provide certainty to the 1.5 million Australians in remote and regional areas that rely on the VAST service provided by Optus satellites for free-to-air television and radio services.”
Optus Vice President for Regulatory and Public Affairs Andrew Sheridan said Optus is delighted that the Federal Government has extended funding for this important public service for an additional seven years.
“VAST provides vital access to television and radio services for 1.5 million Australians in rural and remote areas and Optus looks forward to the opportunity to continue its partnership with government to deliver this critical capability,” Mr Sheridan said.
Optus has operated the VAST platform since 2010 via its D3 and Optus 10 satellites.
VAST also provides crucial emergency broadcasting during disaster events when terrestrial infrastructure has been impacted.
The service includes about 80 television and radio channels from ABC, SBS, commercial free-to-air broadcasters Seven, Nine and Ten and community broadcasters including Imparja and National Indigenous TV.
Optus is the only network provider in Australia to own and operate its own fleet of satellites, the largest in Australia and New Zealand, underpinning its unmatched track record in delivering satellite services to rural and remote areas.
Optus provides a number of critical and sovereign satellite services throughout Australia and New Zealand in addition to VAST, including satellite broadcast capabilities for Foxtel, voice and data services, and emergency connectivity.