Sydney's digital radio broadcasts get off to a shaky start

The nation’s most populous city joins Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane in broadcasting DAB+ services

Sydney has become the fifth state capital in Australia to commence digital radio broadcasts, joining Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. With this latest move, the five-state plan for beginning metropolitan broadcasts of digital radio has been completed and there are now 44 digital radio services transmitting around Australia.

Commercial Radio Australia’s CEO Joan Warner said that Sydney’s switch-on “illustrates how a highly competitive industry has come together to create one of the most spectrum efficient and sophisticated digital radio networks in the world.”

Stations will be broadcasting at half power for the initial weeks of the activation while any technical issues are addressed, followed by a variable power mode to eliminate interference. Warner explained that this was required due to Sydney’s large number of high-rise buildings. Broadcasting was also delayed by poor weather conditions over the past month.

“Nearly 60 per cent of Australia’s population will now be able to access digital radio services but Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth represent just five out of the 105 commercial radio Licence Area Plans," Warner explained. "The industry is committed to ensuring all Australians are able to access the enhanced form of free to air radio and we’ve commenced talks with Australian Media and Communications Authority and the Federal Government to plan the rollout of digital radio throughout the rest of Australia."

Listeners in the Sydney metropolitan area will now be able to listen to 2CH Easy 1170, 2DAY FM, 2GB, 2KY Racing, 2SM, 2UE, 702 ABC, ABC Classic FM, ABC NewsRadio, ABC Radio National, ABC DiG Radio, Koffee, MIX 106.5, NOVA, Novanation, Pink Radio, Radar, SBS National Radio, Triple J, Triple M, VEGA and WSFM Classic Hits. A full list of stations broadcasting nationally is available on the Digital Radio Plus Web site.

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