North Burnett Regional Council has operated the Moonford and Bukali/Bancroft television broadcast towers since 2006 and the Eidsvold tower since 2011. Council previously made the decision to be a television rebroadcaster to try to increase the accessibility, quality and affordability of television reception in these areas.
During recent years, the equipment at these towers has deteriorated along with the quality of service, with many viewers having to deal with poor-quality signal, pixellation, audio popping and interference while trying to watch their favourite sport or shows. Technology has also changed significantly in this time with many community members now sourcing their entertainment and news through other means.
The equipment at these towers has now reached the end of its life and needs to be replaced. Replacement would require significant expenditure at ratepayers’ expense.
At its General Meeting held on 28 April 2021, Council resolved to decommission all digital television retransmission equipment at its Moonford, Bukali/Bancroft and Eidsvold transmission towers on the following dates:
- Moonford – 28 January 2022 (shut down)
- Bukali/Bancroft – 30 June 2022 (shut down)
- Eidsvold – 27 January 2023
As Council has no way of knowing if residents are still using these rebroadcasting services, Council has previously written to landholders with property located within the approximate service area of one of these towers. If landowners do not receive TV signal over an antenna from these towers, there will be no change to your service.
Council recommends that affected households and businesses begin making arrangements with your local installer to switch to the Australian Government’s Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) service. VAST is designed to provide metropolitan-comparable television to rural and remote Australia with no ongoing costs.
What does this mean for affected households and businesses?
- The towers will be decommissioned between January 2022 and January 2023. You will not receive a TV signal over your antenna from a Council-owned tower after the nominated date.
- To maintain access to free-to-air television services after the nominated date, affected households and businesses will need to use alternate methods such as the VAST service or Internet streaming.
- There is a significant length of time until decommissioning begins, so affected households and businesses have plenty of time to make alternate arrangements.
We understand that there may be concerns or questions regarding this process, so we have developed a list of Frequently Asked Questions below.
SatPlus can supply a complete VAST satellite kit for $645 plus freight. This kit is offered as a DIY solution and can potentially save you hundreds of dollars when compared to a professional technician install. The kit can be purchased at this LINK