It seems Kangaroo Island is again in a black spot.
The digital television changeover has been on the agenda for years, yet it has only become apparent recently that a large area of Kangaroo Island will be in a “black spot” with little or no coverage from the middle of next year.
The analogue tower on the island will not be switched over to digital. Some people on the north-east coast will get the digital cover from Adelaide but it is not clear how much of Kingscote will be covered. The rest of the island won’t be covered at all.
There will be subsidies available for pensioners and those relying on the Kingscote transmitter but people must act quickly as cut-off dates are at the end of May.
There seems uncertainty about who is relying on the Kingscote transmitter and a phone call or visit to the website will be a necessity for many.
The island has often waited much longer than the mainland for technological advancements.
It is ironic that the Federal Government has been advertising its National Broadband Network heavily on the island. Kangaroo Island is not on any forward schedule for the NBN, so we will not see the NBN for at least three years. In any case, a new government seems likely to bin the scheme.
Kangaroo Island, with its small resident population, has been a low priority for all sorts of technological advancements, not to mention major infrastructure, such as roads and electricity.
While many can accept the lack of mobile telephone coverage in parts of the island and have no expectation of ever seeing the NBN here, television is considered a basic service for news and entertainment.
More and better information should be available.