Australian Government, 2013-14 Budget
Budget

Part 2: Expense Measures (Continued)

Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

Australian Broadcasting Corporation — base funding

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

The Government will provide $2.5 billion over three years from 2013‑14 in base funding for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Base funding for the ABC is determined on a three‑year rolling basis to operate its television, radio and online services.

This measure involves funding of $837.6 million in 2013‑14, $845.5 million in 2014‑15 and $861.1 million in 2015‑16. Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation — continuation of Enhanced News Services

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Australian Broadcasting Corporation 10.0 17.6 19.8 20.2
Australian Broadcasting Corporation 1.8

The Government will provide $69.4 million over four years (including $1.8 million in capital funding in 2013‑14) to enable the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to place more journalists outside metropolitan cities, introduce youth‑focussed current affairs programming and expand regional participation in its programming.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation — digital delivery of content

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Australian Broadcasting Corporation 3.8 10.8 13.8
Australian Broadcasting Corporation 1.5

The Government will provide $30.0 million over three years (including $1.5 million in capital funding in 2013‑14) to maintain and expand the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's (ABC) online services. Funding will be used to continue to deliver the ABC's existing iview, website, streaming of news content and to provide for an expected increase in demand for these services. The additional funding will also enable a pilot to live stream ABC radio and television content and to increase the quality of existing iview streaming.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Special Broadcasting Service Corporation digital television services — increased coverage

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Special Broadcasting Service Corporation nfp nfp nfp nfp
Australian Broadcasting Corporation nfp nfp nfp nfp
Total — Expense

The Government will provide funding from 2013‑14 to increase the terrestrial coverage of digital television services of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the Special Broadcasting Service Corporation to an additional 39 areas in regional Australia ensuring that viewers in these areas are able to receive the full range of free‑to‑air digital multi‑channels. Funding will also be provided to convert up to 54 self‑help television transmission services currently managed and paid for by the local community to instead be fully managed services under the national broadcasters' networks.

The cost of this measure is not for publication (nfp) to protect the broadcasters' position in any future negotiations with service providers.

The cost of this measure has been offset by a provision to support Australia's transition from analog to digital television previously included in the Contingency Reserve.

Australian Communications and Media Authority — frequency monitoring facilities — upgrade and relocation

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Australian Communications and Media Authority 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.3
Australian Communications and Media Authority 4.7 4.5

The Government will provide $10.5 million over four years (including $9.2 million in capital funding) to upgrade and relocate high frequency direction finding (HFDF) and very high frequency/ultra high frequency (VHF/UHF) monitoring facilities.

Direction finding and frequency monitoring facilities are used to identify instances of accidental or deliberate misuse of, or interference to, the radiofrequency spectrum. The current HFDF monitoring system and facilities are at the end of their serviceable life and require replacement. At the same time, currently co‑located HFDF and VHF/UHF monitoring facilities at Capalaba, Queensland and Cox Peninsula, Northern Territory, will be relocated.

Australian Communications and Media Authority — revenue assurance project — continuation

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Australian Communications and Media Authority 1.4 1.4 1.1 1.1
Australian Communications and Media Authority nfp nfp nfp nfp nfp
Australian Communications and Media Authority 1.0

The Government will provide $6.0 million over four years (including $1.0 million in capital funding) to continue the revenue assurance project comprising ongoing monitoring, compliance and enforcement activities to increase revenue collections.

The revenue assurance project involves expanded quality assurance activities and industry monitoring of revenue streams, and new outreach activities to improve the broadcasters and the telecommunications carriers' understanding of revenue disclosure and other reporting requirements. This measure will help to ensure that all required revenue streams are included in the calculation of possible fees, levies and charges payable.

The estimated revenue to be collected by Australian Communications and Media Authority is not for publication (nfp) as publication may act to limit the level of additional revenue achieved.

Creative Australia — community based radio services

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy 0.3 2.0 1.0 1.0 1.1

The Government will provide $5.4 million over five years to assist the production and transmission of community radio.

This includes funding of $2.7 million over four years to provide subsidised site access for 20 community groups that operate FM radio services and one‑off funding to assist up to 1,261 self‑help community radio retransmission sites to upgrade satellite reception equipment, so that these radio services can continue to be rebroadcast on the Viewer Access Satellite Television service.

It also includes funding of $2.7 million over four years to continue operation of the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project.

The Australia Music Radio Airplay Project provides regular and targeted distribution of new Australian music to community radio stations via CD mailouts and an online music catalogue, and produces and distributes radio content that promotes Australian music.

Further information can be found in the Creative Australia policy statement released on 13 March 2013 by the then Minister for the Arts.

Cyber‑safety enhancement — move to block certain websites

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
Attorney‑General's Department
Total — Expense

The Government will achieve savings of $4.5 million over three years from the cyber‑safety enhancement program by not proceeding with mandatory filtering legislation. Instead, Australia's major Internet Service Providers will be required to block child abuse websites on the INTERPOL 'worst of' child abuse list, in accordance with their obligations under the Telecommunications Act 1997.

Provision for this saving was previously included in the Contingency Reserve in the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2011‑12.

Further information can be found in the press release of 9 November 2012 issued by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

Digital enterprises — additional funding

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy 2.4 2.7 2.1

The Government will provide an additional $7.2 million over three years to improve the capacity of small businesses and not‑for‑profit organisations to engage in the digital economy and take advantage of the National Broadband Network (NBN).

This measure expands the Digital Enterprise program from the existing 40 locations to an additional 20 regional rollout sites consistent with the NBN rollout plan. It will also establish a virtual digital enterprise service to support businesses and not‑for‑profit organisations operating in remote Australia, particularly organisations in remote Indigenous communities, to harness the opportunities of the digital economy.

This measure builds on the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2011‑12 measure titled Digital Productivity — digital enterprises.

Digital local governments — additional funding

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy 2.9 2.9

The Government will provide an additional $5.7 million over two years to expand the support available to local government organisations to develop online services to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their service delivery by taking advantage of the bandwidth and high data capacity of the National Broadband Network (NBN). This measure expands the Digital Local Government program from the existing 40 councils to an additional 15 local councils consistent with the NBN rollout plan.

This measure builds on the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2011‑12 measure titled Digital Productivity — Digital Communities — Digital hubs, Local Government and Community Engagement.

Digital Television Switchover — Household Assistance Scheme — redirection of funding

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy ‑10.0

The Government will redirect $10.0 million of funds from the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy's Household Assistance Scheme from 2012‑13 to the Special Broadcasting Service Corporation (SBS).

This funding, which was not required in 2012‑13, will be redirected over five years from 2012‑13 to meet the increased costs of content acquisition for the SBS. The continued roll out of the Household Assistance Scheme will be unaffected by the redirection.

See also the related expense measure titled Special Broadcasting Service Corporation — increase in funding for local content.

Digital Television Switchover — savings

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy ‑2.2
Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport 0.1
Total — Expense ‑2.1
Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport 1.8

The Government will provide $1.9 million to the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport to upgrade, from analog to digital, existing terrestrial retransmission facilities that provide free‑to‑air television services in the Indian Ocean Territories (IOT). This will reduce the need for a majority of IOT households to install satellite equipment in order to receive digital services when the analog system is switched off in the area on 25 June 2013. Savings will be achieved through a reduced requirement for assistance under the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy's Satellite Subsidy Scheme.

Digital Television Switchover — spectrum restacking — additional funding

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy 26.6

The Government will provide an additional $26.6 million in 2012‑13 for the restacking of digital television services. The restacking ensures free‑to‑air commercial and national broadcasters vacate the digital dividend spectrum in a timely fashion, allowing it to be used for other services.

This funding will address previously unforeseen implementation costs including storage and transport of replacement equipment and the decommissioning of high powered transmission sites.

The additional funding is commensurate with an expected underspend of $26.6 million in 2012‑13 in the Digital Television Switchover Program.

Indigenous Communications Program — remote Indigenous public internet access — continuation

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
Department of the Treasury
Total — Expense

The Government will provide $6.5 million over three years from 2013‑14 to continue, in partnership with the States and Territories, the provision of access to internet services and computer training for remote Indigenous communities through the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Public Internet Access.

Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

National Broadband Network — metropolitan rollout — extension

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy 4.6
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy 0.3

The Government will provide a further $4.9 million (including $0.3 million in capital funding) to continue to improve public understanding and provide updated information about the National Broadband Network.

These activities will build upon the existing campaign operating in the five major metropolitan areas, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, where access to the National Broadband Network will be provided through fibre.

This measure builds upon the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2012‑13 measure titled National Broadband Network — metropolitan rollout.

National Broadband Network — shareholder and regulatory policy support

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy 2.2
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy 0.2

The Government will provide $2.4 million in 2013‑14 (including $0.2 million in capital funding) to maintain the existing capacity of the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy to provide shareholder and policy support during the National Broadband Network rollout.

Satellite Phone Subsidy Scheme — continuation

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy 2.5

The Government will provide $2.5 million to continue the Satellite Phone Subsidy Scheme (Scheme) for a further year.

The Scheme provides subsidies of up to 85 per cent of the cost of a satellite phone, to a maximum of $1,000, for people who live in areas without terrestrial mobile coverage and a 50 per cent subsidy, to a maximum of $700, for individuals who work in or travel to areas without mobile coverage for significant periods of time.

Ongoing funding for the Scheme will be subject to a review during 2013‑14, with the outcomes of the review to be considered in the 2014‑15 Budget.

Special Broadcasting Service Corporation — additional funding

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Special Broadcasting Service Corporation 6.5 6.7 6.8

The Government will provide an additional $20.0 million over three years to the Special Broadcasting Service Corporation (SBS). This additional funding will allow the SBS to maintain the quality and delivery of its television, radio and online services.

This builds on the $95.2 million over five years in additional funding provided in the 2012‑13 Budget.

Special Broadcasting Service Corporation — base funding

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Special Broadcasting Service Corporation

The Government will provide $568.7 million over three years from 2013‑14 in base funding for the Special Broadcasting Service Corporation (SBS). Base funding for the SBS is determined on a three‑year rolling basis to operate its television, radio and online services.

This measure involves funding of $181.3 million in 2013‑14, $191.9 million in 2014‑15 and $195.5 million in 2015‑16. Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

Special Broadcasting Service Corporation — increase in funding for local content

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Special Broadcasting Service Corporation 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0

The Government will provide an additional $10.0 million over five years to the Special Broadcasting Service Corporation to meet increased costs of acquiring local content and to further support the local television production industry.

The cost of this measure will be offset by redirecting funding from the Digital Television Switchover — Household Assistance Scheme.

See also related expense measure titled Digital Television Switchover — Household Assistance Scheme — redirection of funding.

Untimed Local Calls in the Extended Zones — continuation

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency nfp nfp nfp nfp
Australian Communications and Media Authority nfp nfp nfp nfp

The Government will continue to provide customers in the extended zones, which are outside standard local call charging areas and are predominately located in rural and remote Australia, with access to untimed local calls. Section 107 of the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Services Standards) Act 1999 requires regulations or other arrangements to be in place to provide customers in the extended zones with access to untimed local calls. The costs will be met primarily through an increase in the Telecommunications Industry Levy.

The estimated costs and revenue offset is not for publication (nfp) so as not to prejudice negotiations between the Government and the telecommunications sector over provision of this service.

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