A new DAB+ multiple is up and running in the Australian capital city of Canberra. The turn-up marks the first trial outside of the five original DAB+ launch cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
Canberrans with digital receivers can now hear 10 stations including simulcast commercial programmers 2CA, 2CC, Mix 106.3, 104.7 Hit Music, plus multicultural and multilingual stations SBS Radio 1 and SBS Radio 2. Four new digital-only stations -- Radar Radio, Mix Plus, my Canberra Digital and Hot Country Canberra Digital -- are also available, with two more streams on the way in a matter of days.
Operating with a relatively low-power signal, the new multiplex is intended to demonstrate the technology directly to lawmakers as they work in Australia's parliament building. Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) CEO Joan Warner described the trial as her organization's latest step in making digital radio services available to all Australians.
"The Canberra trial will provide valuable experience for regional radio broadcasters in working with the DAB+ signal, equipment and functionality, while we as an industry continue to work with the government on a public commitment to prioritize the allocation of enough spectrum for the rollout of digital radio throughout the rest of Australia," Warner says.
Lawmakers will reportedly be provided with DAB receivers, while some local retailers will stock units for over-the-counter purchase. A DAB+ trial is also on schedule for the northern coastal town of Darwin, with other regional multiplexes under consideration for Townsville and Hobart.