End of TV Channels 0 and 1 Eliminates 6 Meter Restrictions in Australia, New Zealand
When New Zealand switched over from analog to digital television broadcasting, TV operation on that country’s Channel 1 — 44 to 50 MHz — ceased. The New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters (NZART) says the last analog transmitter went dark at the end of November, “and all New Zealand amateurs now have access to the 6 meter band (50-53 MHz) without requiring a permit” at the full legal power limit as of December 6. NZART said no official notice was expected from regulator Radio Spectrum Management.
In Australia, the end of analog broadcasting on that country’s Channel 0 — also in the 44 to 50 MHz range — eliminated the potential of interference from 6 meter amateur operation Down Under. An official with the Australia Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) told the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA), “With the cessation of all Channel 0 television stations, practically speaking all operations in the 50-52 MHz band will no longer need to be curtailed in order to avoid interference to Channel 0 stations.” Although license conditions in Australia’s eastern states restricting operation on the lower half of 6 meters remain in place, the WIA has suggested that these “may be ignored for the time being.”
ACMA has indicated that it plans to review what will happen to the spectrum vacated by analog TV services. The WIA wants 50 to 52 MHz allocated to Amateur Radio on a primary basis.