Yesterday, we posted a note about the new documentary, “Australia Calling: 80 Years of International Broadcasting.” At the time, I mentioned that the video was geo-blocked–meaning, you could not watch the video outside Australia without using a VPN.
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Peter Marks, who shares this great news:
I’ve corresponded with the iview team and they have un-geoblocked the video. It can be watched here:
Many thanks to a number of SWLing Post contributors who contacted me about a new documentary focused on the impact of Radio Australia. Peter Marks writes:
The celebration of 80 years of international broadcasting from Australia continues. The ABC has published “Australia Calling: A look at 80 years of Radio Australia and ABC international broadcasting” today:
Thank you, Peter! I just started watching the documentary via ABC’s iView. Note that the program is geo-blocked and not available outside of Australia (unless, like me, you have a good VPN). [No longer geo-blocked! See update.]
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Peter Marks, who was recently invited to attend an ABC celebration. Peter wrote up a summary of the event on his blog:
80 years of international broadcasting by the ABC was celebrated this week at the headquarters in Ultimo, Sydney.
David Hua, ABC Head, International Strategy introduced the event.
Geraldine Doogue was the MC for the evening. She described the International division as “Taking Australian culture beyond its shores”. Doogue described ABC International as the very best of the ABC and said that the people who work in it have a sense of pride in Australia and work out how to present it to the world.
Ita Buttrose, ABC chair, said “The birth of Australia’s international broadcasting service came at a time of global upheaval, uncertainty and disruption. Australia seemed far removed from the epicentre of conflict in Europe, but the technology of cable and wireless brought the war in to living rooms across the country.”
As Ms Buttrose noted in her recent speech at the Lowy Institute, radio technology also gave Australia the opportunity to speak directly, for the first time, to its near neighbours, countering the propaganda and fake news of the day.
An interesting conclusion in the report on page 128 is that the authors estimate that shortwave broadcasts to the Asia and Pacific by Australia have a net economic benefit since 2007-08 of $40.3 million.
Presumably this means it would make economic sense for Australia to get back in to Shortwave broadcasting like our clever Chinese neighbours.
(Source: Vanuatu Broadcasting & Television Corporation via Peter Marks)
RADIO VANUATU CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT WORK BEGINS
With the support of the Government of Vanuatu, the Vanuatu Broadcasting & Television
Corporation (VBTC) has begun work this month on a 942 million vatu (US$8.1m)
infrastructure upgrade to improve radio and free-to-air television service throughout
The first phase involves the design, installation and commissioning of a new shortwave (HF)
and medium wave (MF) service for Radio Vanuatu, the country’s public radio service. Costing
for phase one will be in excess of 242 million vatu (US$2.2m) and is funded by the
Government of Vanuatu. Following the improvements to shortwave and medium wave
services, VBTC will also undertake technical work to strengthen the coverage and reliability
of its FM services.
A 10kw MF Nautel transmitter imported out of Canada and a 10kw HF transmitter
manufactured by Hanjin Electronics of South Korea will be installed at VBTC’s major public
service transmission site at Emten Lagoon on Efate. Both transmitters will be commissioned
before the end of 2019.
The second phase, beginning early 2020, will reopen Radio Vanuatu’s medium wave radio
transmission facilities at St Michelle in Luganville on the island of Santo. This will provide AM
service to provinces in the top half of Vanuatu at a cost in excess of 300 million vatu
The third phase will expand the national television free-to-air service, Television Blong
Vanuatu, along with a new digital television service. This final phase will cost an estimated
400 million vatu (US$3.5m).
Prime Minister Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas launched the capital development upgrade at a
special function attended by cabinet ministers, senior members of the public service,
members of the diplomatic corps and members of Vanuatu’s business and non-profit
communities on Friday September 20 in Port Vila before he departed the country to attend
the UN General Assembly in New York.
In his address, the Prime Ministerspoke atlength about the importance to Vanuatu of having
a strong national public radio and television broadcasting service and announced assistance
from Vanuatu’s development partners to help achieve this objective.
The Government of Australia funded the scoping study for the radio upgrade project and is
providing funding support to implement the strategic reform programme of VBTC which the
Prime Minister said is making good progress.
“I’m also happy to announce that the New Zealand Government is keen to support the
second stage of the Radio Vanuatu technical infrastructure upgrade while China is
considering my request to support the upgrade of Television Blong Vanuatu’s technical
Meanwhile Kordia New Zealand Limited has been awarded the contract to project manage,
design, install and commission the new radio transmission facilities beginning with the
facilities at Emten Lagoon outside Port Vila.
VBTC Chief Executive Officer, Francis Herman said that “Kordia has extensive experience in
the broadcasting and telecommunications industry in the Pacific, and recently completed a
major project in Samoa for State-owned Radio 2AP funded by the Australian Government”.
“We’ve worked hard with Kordia and a number of other technical experts to investigate the
most efficient and sustainable transmission solution for Vanuatu taking into account the
inclement weather, and the need to keep operating costs affordable.”
The shortwave service, which will be commissioned before the end of this year, will provide
national radio coverage to the 82 islands spread spanning 1,300 kilometres between the
most northern and southern islands.
“Our role as Vanuatu’s national broadcasting service is centered on helping create an
informed public opinion so our people can contribute more effectively to national
development”, Herman added.
“VBTC has struggled to remain relevant over the past decade because its technical
infrastructure was obsolete and badly neglected making it challenging for us to provide an
efficient, reliable, and responsive national radio and television service.”
Alongside the infrastructure upgrade, is an extensive programme to strengthen the technical
capacity of Vanuatu’s broadcast technicians along with a long-term maintenance regime to
expand the life of the equipment.
September 23, 2019
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