Australia is facing major decisions about the technical, structural and social shape of its television industry, with the federal government currently considering options for the introduction of 'digital terrestrial television broadcasting' (D1TB). This article examines the possibilities of the technology, the political and industrial environment within which it was developed, and the steps taken to introduce it in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. It explores the reassertion of "scarcity" as a central feature of media and communications policy debate which has occurred partly as a result of the particular way in which D1TB technology has been developed. With this scarcity comes the opportunity to reinvent traditional notions of the public interest in media and communications services for the digital age. Australia's choices are about who gets access to the spectrum liberated by D1TB, and at what financial and regulatory price.
Media and Arts Law Review,
Vol. 3, no. 1 (Mar 1998), pp. 38-51