On 28 April 2021, Council resolved to shut down its digital television retransmission equipment in Eidsvold on 27 January 2023. Residents were notified of this by letter in May 2021, followed by a significant number of public notices. This will be the final notification. All television and radio services broadcast by SBS, Seven, WIN and Ten over antenna in Eidsvold will cease on this day.
At this stage Council has not received advice regarding ABC services which are provided directly by ABC at a separate facility. The future of those services will be at the sole discretion of ABC. This shut down will affect you if your television antenna is pointed towards the tower located at the town water reservoir behind the Eidsvold Hospital. If your antenna is not pointed towards this location, then you may receive your signal from elsewhere (eg Mundubbera or Biggenden) and will therefore not be affected.
We recommend that you urgently make alternative arrangements to access free-to-air television. If you will be affected and have not already made alternative arrangements to access free-to-air television, please consider urgently seeking out a satellite television installer to gain access to the Australian Government’s Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) service.
There will be a variable cost to you to install VAST, however ongoing access is free. Alternatively, you may choose to access broadcaster online streaming services. If you require further information regarding the installation of the VAST service, please contact your local antenna installer or electrician.
We have provided a list of frequently asked questions below.
What is happening?
Council decided in April 2021 to decommission all its TV retransmission services. Eidsvold’s is the final shutdown and will be undertaken on 27 January 2023.
Who is affected?
Households and businesses in the Eidsvold town area who access free-to-air (FTA) television networks through an antenna from Council’s tower, located at the water reservoir behind the Eidsvold Hospital.
There will be no change for viewers that access FTA TV through satellite, Internet streaming or alternate means, nor for anyone in any other area of the North Burnett Region.
Some Pay TV (Foxtel, Fetch, etc) set-top boxes include the ability to receive FTA TV channels over antenna, so households and businesses in the affected areas will not receive those FTA signals after decommissioning but will continue to receive their other Pay TV channels as normal.
How do I know where my TV is transmitted from?
Look at your antenna and see if it is pointing towards the water reservoir behind the Eidsvold Hospital.
Why has Council made this decision?
TV viewing habits have changed dramatically in the years since the towers were constructed. Free to air TV is no longer the primary source of entertainment for many viewers and Council does not consider TV retransmission as part of its core business.
Ageing equipment at the towers is contributing to regular failures that result in extended partial or complete outages of some services. With no opportunities for external funding, replacement of this equipment would come at significant expense to Council and all ratepayers.
Operating the towers also imposes a substantial cost on Council’s operational budget.
How do we switch to satellite television?
VAST is a satellite television service entirely funded by the Australian Government. It is available to areas that have no suitable antenna signal, so households and businesses affected by this process are now eligible to join. VAST carries the same programming as regular Free to air TV,
plus more, so households won’t miss their favourite shows or news. Residents who wish to have a VAST service installed are encouraged to contact their local antenna technician or electrician for advice. More information is available at mysattv.com.au.
Council encourages affected households and businesses to arrange to switch well before the nominated decommissioning date to allow for any installation delays
How much will this cost?
VAST has no monthly cost, but households and businesses wishing to access it will need to pay for the installation from their nominated installer.
The cost will vary depending on the equipment required and time to install. Please discuss this with your installer
What equipment do I need?
At a minimum, access to the satellite TV service requires a VAST-approved set-top box, satellite dish of at least 65cm diameter and an activated smartcard.
An existing unused Foxtel dish and cabling may be suitable to use, however your installer will need to confirm this.
Registration with the VAST service is required prior to your smartcard being activated. Your installer may arrange this on your behalf and more information is available at mysattv.com.au.
Is satellite the only option?
Accessing the VAST service is the only way to gain access to traditional FTA television services for affected households and businesses.
Internet-based streaming is available via broadcasters’ apps and websites for households and businesses with Internet connections that can support it.