More Dominant in their Inactivity: Consumer Response and the Adoption of Digital TV in Australia

Niranjala D. Weerakkody
InSITE 2003  •  Volume 3  •  2003
After much hesitation, discussion, and power brokering, Australia adopted digital TV for its Free-to air broadcasting on January 1, 2001. However, by December 2002, only a few thousand homes had adopted the technology. This paper examines the implementation and regulation of digital TV in Australia from the point of view of the ‘established base’ the new technology will replace, theories on diffusion and innovation of new technologies, and the Justification Model, which sees technology choice as social gambling. It then evaluates the various protectionist regulations and limitations imposed on the technology to safeguard the various stakeholders, the implementation strategies used, lack of digital content, marketing efforts, negative media coverage, and the economic realities of the technology, and argues that if consumers reject the technology altogether, it would lead to Australia missing the future applications of digital technology and the opportunity to address the issue of the ‘digital divide’ in the 21st century.
Digital TV, Australian broadcasting, Adoption and diffusion of digital TV, Broadcasting policy and regulation, Diffusion of innovations, Digital broadcasting in Australia, Broadcast spectrum allocation, Protectionism in broadcasting policy, Australian broadcasting policy, consumer response to new technology
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