Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Progress Made On Digital Terrestrial Television

Major progress has been made towards the successful introduction of Digital Terrestrial Television, Communications Minister Maurice Williamson said today.

"Following consultation with major network providers and transmission consultants, a draft frequency channel plan and detailed engineering criteria for digital television transmissions in New Zealand has been developed," said Mr Williamson.

"I'm delighted to have reached this key milestone in the engineering project. This milestone represents great progress towards a successful introduction of this exciting new technology.

"The technical work completed to date is a fine example of Government and industry working in close consultation to maximise the value of the resource to the benefit of the viewing public."

It has also been determined that three separate national frequency networks can be accommodated in the plan for the reservation of spectrum for transition of free-to-air broadcasts, leaving up to a further five potential networks for sale by auction.

"The advent of digital television promises greater program choice, new interactive program services and a host of options for improved picture and sound quality," said Mr Williamson.

In December 1998 the Government announced plans for the transition of terrestrial television broadcasts from the present analogue format to the new generation digital transmission format. Those plans included a decision to implement digital programs in the existing UHF-TV bands using a frequency interleave approach. Additionally, the Government announced a program of spectrum reservation for free-to-air broadcasts, to enable continuity of service to the public over the transition period.

The draft channel plan and engineering criteria document can be found at: http://www.moc.govt.nz/rsm/planning/dttv/index.html.


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS, DIGITAL TERRESTRIAL TELEVISION PROJECT

Q When do you expect to be auctioning DTT spectrum?

A The DTT auction is tentatively timed for around June 2000. This is somewhat dependent on the duration of the 2GHz auction.

Q How soon will the engineering be complete and the auction lots be announced?

A We plan to release an auction catalogue sometime in March 2000.

Q The draft channel plan does not include channels 25 and 26, the Single Frequency Networks? Is there a plan to auction them as well?

A Channels 25 and 26 are indeed part of the spectrum available for DTT implementation. Until such time as the detailed engineering for the interleave channels has been completed, we cannot be sure exactly how the frequencies will be allocated as part of the overall plan.

Q Will all free-to-air broadcasters be given reserved spectrum as part of the transition programme?

A It is the Government's intention to provide for the transition from analogue to digital through a process of frequency reservation. We have further engineering work to complete before we know exactly which specific frequency bands or channels will be reserved and whether spectrum will be required by the free-to-air program providers.

Q What is meant by "whether spectrum will be required"?

A Each free-to-air program provider has a unique commercial model and indeed some have specific, niche-oriented target markets. We are working with each of these organisations to determine what their specific plans are.

Q Is it likely that this auction will also be affected by Treaty of Waitangi claim?

A The Government has made a reservation of UHF frequencies sufficient in capacity to establish a nationwide Maori Television network. These frequencies are also capable of supporting digital transmissions.

Q In relation to the engineering criteria adopted by the Ministry of Commerce, are these compatible with the rest of the world?

A Yes. The New Zealand approach is aligned to the engineering standards criteria adopted by the European Broadcasting Union and it is expected that that same criteria will be adopted internationally by the ITU (International Telecommunications Union).

Q How soon can the New Zealand public expect to see digital television transmissions?

A Already some program providers are implementing digital transmissions via satellite. The timing of the conversion of programs and networks to digital transmission is not determined by Government regulation, rather each television provider will make those decisions based on commercial and value-added service strategies. Our understanding is that some network providers have indicated they may commence digital transmission of free-to-air programs as early as 2001.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election