Radio Australia outage: Response from ABC Reception Advice

ABC-LogoI just received the following message from ABC Reception Advice after inquiring about Radio Australia being off the air. I’m sure many of you also received the same message:

Thank you for your recent correspondence with regards to the Radio Australia Broadcasts on Shortwave Radio in the SW Pacific. We are currently working with our transmission provider on a number of shut downs over the past week and again over the next week to investigate a range of technical and commercial issues for the service.

In the meantime the services are still on air via our satellite services on Intelsat IS18 and IS20 as well as our FM network across the targeted markets in the SW Pacific (for detailed information please see and of course Radio Australia is online at

Kind Regards,
ABC Reception Advice

I can’t remember Radio Australia being off the air such a long time for maintenance.

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15 thoughts on “Radio Australia outage: Response from ABC Reception Advice

  1. D.A.Mckenzie

    RA has had a Change at the TOP. A New Female CEO, Shes into Closing down transmitters etc including FM Stations (Relays) Shes replacing Guthrie. Several FM ones in the Pacific Islands. are under review.

    Also noted by Australian Press that She is looking into closing several SW transmitters for good. as a cost saving exercise. (Leaving only One SW transmitter active),

    So far only miner changes, like on SW, until 2017 ,,,Then who knows

    1. Phil from Darwin

      I don’t believe your information is correct. Guthrie is the newly appointed MD for the entire ABC of which RA is a tiny division. There is no news of her being replaced as this would be a major political event in Australia. The previous MD Mark Scott certainly was pursing a policy of closing regional ABC transmitters domestically, but Guthrie has reportedly spoken of expanding RA’s reach.

  2. Phil from Darwin

    I received the same stock answer as Thomas. However, the new Managing Director of the ABC Michelle Guthrie has recently expressed an interest in expanding shortwave services in the Asia Pacific. Hopefully this means the outage is genuinely temporary. Check back on SWLing Post a few weeks ago for further detail on Guthrie’s comments.

  3. DanH

    Hold your horses! This message found on the ABC/Radio Australia website this morning…

    The ABC is running a technical outage of the international shortwave service until Friday the 19th of August to test reception in the region.

    Listening to shortwave requires a specialist shortwave radio. We direct our broadcasts at peak listening times in our target areas of the Pacific using multiple frequencies. We recommend that where possible, you use an outside antenna to improve reception. Shortwave signals may be subject to interference from other broadcasters’ signals, electronic devices such as computers, microwave ovens, TVs, car engines and fluorescent lights.

  4. Tom Stiles

    I received the exact same response which really indicates to me that we may see the end of R. Australia on shortwave. I sure hope not as I really enjoy some of their content and love the idea of being able to hear it on shortwave.

    Another Tom

  5. DanH

    I received the same reply from Radio Australia yesterday. I do have the BBC Singapore relay available on 11980 kHz so my breakfasts are not devoid of good SW listening.

  6. London Shortwave

    The usual arguments about the economics of running a high-powered shortwave radio service are well known and have been discussed many times over. And time and again, what is missing from these discussions is the humanitarian aspect: depriving people in the less advantaged territories of the ability to receive global broadcasts at no cost results in a less equal world. A good friend of mine from India who went on to become a highly successful academic in the USA attributed his career path to regularly listening to the BBC World Service and Voice of America on shortwave while growing up in a poor neighbourhood. True, India is now much better connected than it was back then, but in how many other regions will shutting down shortwave radio result in lost opportunities for the people there to connect with the rest of the world? We wouldn’t dream of cutting Internet access in poor neighbourhoods in our own countries; shutting down all libraries in less privileged parts of our cities would result in an outcry. I find it hard to believe that this point is lost on the people charged with making such decisions.

  7. Jonathan Marks

    It is also a cheap way of testing whether anyone is really listening via shortwave. Other countries did the same with MW/LW, switching off the service and measuring complaints. There is a difference between technically being capable of reaching a target – and having an audience needing the service so they listen. When they get no response – they will quietly mothball things.

    1. jay

      The sad thing here, is, the really crazy like Reverend Stair et-al have the shortwave. I was listening to Air India yesterday, on east coast US, they don’t include US as a target. That said very high power shortwave, they at 500kw (my God) and probably a directional array come into southeastern US everyday and peak up at about 2100 UTC. They play great native music, news etc. They also are thinking of dropping off shortwave. Reasons clear too few listeners too little revenue.

  8. jay

    It says they are off air for good. Unless, they get a sponsor or revenue from somewhere else. Shortwave High Power broadcasting is really a relic of the past and quite expensive to make run. I can easily listen to 200 in full stereo radio stations, any time on the I Net


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