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Administration of the Digital Television Switchover Household ...

Administration of the Digital Television Switchover Household ...

� design

� design of HAS is robust and provides effective mechanisms for delivering the Scheme’s objectives; � tender selection and contract negotiation processes are robust, transparent and subject to continuous improvement; � DBCDE has effective mechanisms in place to manage delivery of the Scheme; and � DBCDE effectively monitors and reports scheme performance. Overall conclusion 18. Digital television broadcasts in Australia commenced in simulcast with analog broadcasts in January 2001. In 2008, the Australian Government committed to a progressive timetable to switch‐off analog television broadcasting services across Australia and move to digital‐only television broadcasting during the period from 2010 to 2013. The Government also announced the establishment of a Digital Switchover Taskforce (DST) in the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) to oversee the digital television switchover initiative. As at 1 March 2012, the switchover has been completed in Mildura/Sunraysia (the pilot region, in June 2010), Regional South Australia and Broken Hill (December 2010), Regional Victoria (May 2011) and Regional Queensland (December 2011). The switchover in Regional New South Wales is scheduled to conclude in November 2012, with the rollout to Tasmania, major metropolitan and remaining areas of Australia (including remote areas) to occur in 2013. ANAO Audit Report No.55 2011–12 Administration of the Digital Television Switchover Household Assistance Scheme 18

Summary 19. HAS, with announced funding of $381.4 million, is the largest component of the broader digital television switchover initiative administered by DBCDE. HAS is designed to provide in‐home assistance to those households anticipated to experience the most difficulty in selecting and installing the necessary equipment to switchover to digital television. The Scheme recognises that, for some Australians, switching to digital television would not be a simple or straight‐forward task. The in‐home assistance available under HAS, depending on eligibility, includes: the provision, installation and demonstration of a high‐definition set‐top box (STB) and remote that has been specifically designed to meet the needs of the elderly or those with a disability; associated cabling; antenna, satellite installations or upgrades, where necessary; and after‐care support and warranty services. 20. The Scheme is being delivered on a region‐by‐region basis with the service contractors for each region tendered and contracted separately through targeted procurement activities. This approach allows the rollout to be tailored to the specific needs of each region, with lessons learned applied to future regions. As at 1 March 2012, 85 326 HAS services have been provided to households in completed switchover regions at a total cost of $37 million. The cost of HAS installations during the early rollouts (up to and including the rollout in Regional Queensland) ranged from $157 to $1590, depending on the individual package of assistance provided to the customer. The package of assistance provided is influenced by many factors including: a customer’s location; and the requirements of the installation which can range from the delivery of a high definition STB to the installation of a satellite access package in some regional and remote areas. 21. Overall, DBCDE has effectively established and continues to strengthen its administrative arrangements for HAS to deliver a package of safety‐net services to those elderly and disabled customers requiring assistance to make the switch to viewing digital‐only television. As HAS is a demand driven, opt‐in scheme, the department has established effective arrangements to encourage potentially eligible customers to test their eligibility for assistance. The tender selection and contract negotiation processes for HAS service providers were robust and transparent, with DBCDE’s progressive approaches to the market for each rollout successfully engaging service contractors based on a value for money assessment. The department has worked closely with DHS and service contractors to provide services to customers that generally meet agreed quality standards within the switchover windows for each region completed to December 2011. DBCDE has also developed sound processes for ANAO Audit Report No.55 2011–12 Administration of the Digital Television Switchover Household Assistance Scheme 19

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