Tag Archives: Tecsun Radios Australia

Continued public support for restoration of ABC shortwave services

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Troy Riedel, who shares the following from a Tecsun Radios Australia press release:

Public support has been steadily increasing in favour of the #saveshortwave campaign.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten has written to the Prime Minister to ask him to step in urgently to stop the ABC from carrying out their plan to cut shortwave transmission today, 31st January 2017, saying:

“I am deeply concerned that the ABC took this decision without satisfactory consultation with affected listeners, community representatives and emergency service workers and agencies.”

The alternative solutions that the ABC have offered in the place of shortwave transmission are simply not practical for many listeners. In areas beyond signal reception, as many of the affected areas are, both AM and FM radio services are not available, and the equipment needed to receive radio services via satellite on the Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) is expensive and impractical for on-the-move reception.

The latest statement from the ABC promised that they would “supply (donate) a VAST satellite system to all Royal Flying Doctor Service bases, and 4WD Radio club bases in the affected region, allowing them to rebroadcast emergency or warning messages as required.” The issue is, however, that The Royal Flying Doctor’s shortwave broadcasts are not designed to cover the same geographical area as the ABC’s dedicated shortwave broadcasts, leading to a potential shortfall in range and availability.

Another key factor is that farmers, stockmen and the like in remote areas have listened in to shortwave broadcasts for 100 years or more – this is a hard-wired habit. How is information about the transition going to be provided to them if not by the only medium that they use?

Jay Mohr-Bell works on a cattle station outside of Katherine, and knows only too well about this:

“The ABC fails to understand that their audience who listens to local ABC via shortwave do not favour this service, this is their only available service,” he said in a statement to Guardian Australia, “essentially the ABC is closing down the shortwave service and replacing it with nothing.”

Alongside important concerns regarding access to emergency announcements, residents are also sadly losing their ability to listen to live radio and music, which is important from a community and integrational perspective.

Federal minister Nigel Scullion said “there was no need for the ABC to make this decision with no notice or community consultation.”

The ABC issued a statement yesterday to say it was “deeply committed to rural and regional Australia and the one-third of Australians who live outside of the capital cities.” From what we can see however, their actions seem to demonstrate otherwise.

We now have proof that our voices are being heard by the ABC and the Australia Government. We invite you to write to your local MP to tell them once and for all how much you value the shortwave service. Alternatively, the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association have drafted an email found here that you can sign and send to the Secretary of the Senate Enquiry.

Lets rally together one final time to #saveshortwave

This Australia-based radio retailer is not the only one behind a campaign to restore shortwave services, senator Nick Xenophon says he will introduce legislation to Parliament to force the ABC to reinstate its shortwave radio service.

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ABC Rural interviews Garry Cratt about decision to end shortwave service

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Troy Riedel, who shares the following announcement from a Tecsun Radios Australia email newsletter:

Tecsun Radios Australia owner Garry Cratt was interviewed by ABC Rural this week about the ABC’s decision to end their shortwave radio transmission after almost 80 years.

Click here to listen via YouTube.

The ABC have decided that as shortwave technology is now nearly a century old, it is outdated and serves a very limited audience. They are planning on moving towards a digital focused service instead.

Garry discussed this in his interview with ABC Rural:
“A lot of the places that do receive Radio Australia, there is no power for a start, so they’re relying on batteries and solar panels. The people that are listening, that will be affected, are those people who are maybe still back in the last century, but that’s not their fault.”

Tecsun Radios Australia recently sent a shipment of 500 radios to the Solomon Islands to be given out to remote villages. Shortwave radio is often the only way to communicate in rural villages like these, this is especially important during times of natural disaster such as the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, and as recently as cyclones Yasi (2011), and Pam (2015).

The ABC are planning on building a stronger FM transmitter network to use instead of the shortwave transmission – but what will happen to the people who are out of range of FM radio?

There are many people without this equipment living in places like the Pacific Islands, where Radio Australia is one the few news and entertainment resources. Due to the sparse population and wide geographic dispersion it is extremely difficult to correctly measure the effect that turning off the shortwave transmission will have.

Here at Tecsun Radios Australia, we are asking you to help us let the ABC know that shortwave radio is a much valued service. You can do this by tweeting a photo of your shortwave radio tuned into Radio Australia, making sure you tag @ABCAustralia and @TecsunRadios and using the hashtag #saveshortwave

Additionally, we are calling on the Australian Government to restore funding to the ABC, (previously provided via the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) to support the ABC’s international television and radio broadcasts. We acknowledge that the ABC has continued to provide international radio and television broadcasts by internally funding these programs, and now we ask the Australian Government to support our rural and Pacific Islands communities by giving the ABC the appropriate funding they require.

We are talking about $1.9 million in funding after all, which we think the Prime Minister could find if he checked under the Chesterfield seat cushions in his office…

To read the full article and listen to Garry’s radio interview, click here:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-18/abc-shortwave-cuts-tourists-operator-pacific-island/8191374

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