What are the implications for the current PPCA dispute?
While regional commercial stations have switched off their streaming services, the ABC plans to expanded its radio streaming to include an additional 14 regional services from July 1, ensuring more Australians will have access to radio online and on mobile.
The ABC does not currently fall under the interim scheme that is at the heart of the dispute between commercial stations and the PPCA.
The national broadcaster is not currently paying an interim fee and is not subject to the same back payments as regional commercial stations. It is not known whether the PPCA will seek the same additional fees as it is seeking from the commercial sector, if the ABC continues to expand simulcasting of its services.
The ABC’s Managing Director, Mark Scott, says the decision to expand the streaming beyond the Gold Coast and Newcastle builds on the ABC’s commitment to rural and regional Australia in the digital era.
“From Cairns in the north through to Launceston in the south, regionally produced programs and bulletins will broaden their audiences through the capacity to stream online and on mobile,” Mr Scott said.
The following services will be streamed from 1 July 2015: Alice Springs, Karratha, Kalgoorlie, Launceston, Broome, Longreach, Bunbury, Mt Isa, Cairns, Port Pirie, Dubbo, Sale, Toowoomba, and Wodonga.
The announcement of the new streaming services also coincides with the creation of a new division, called ABC Regional, which brings together radio and news gathering to provide a more comprehensive service for the audience. Newly appointed Director ABC Regional, Fiona Reynolds, says it’s the division’s ambition to continue to expand streaming services to other regional locations in the future.
ABC Regional will bring together 400 staff from 48 locations outside the 8 capital cities, as well as metro-based rural team members.