Attn Mainstream Media - ASO will *NOT* be occuring in NZ in 2012

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 19-Mar-2009 09:31

It seems to be a common misconception in NZ that analogue shut off (ASO) will occur in 2012. ASO is the date that analogue TV broadcasts will shut down in New Zealand, meaning you will need a Freeview box, Freeview IDTV or a TelstraClear STB or Sky STB to continue to receive TV broadcasts.

This misconception is being continually fueled by the media who continue to repeat this date, including in an interview with Steve Browning from Freeview that appeared in the Domonion Post yesterday that says

(discussing ASO)

Public policy is to achieve this by 2012, or when three-quarters of the population has digital instead of analogue TV, whichever comes first.

This is incorrect. Lets get the facts straight.

ASO will *NOT* occur in New Zealand in 2012. Analogue TV will continute to be broadcast past 2012.

To quote the Ministry of Economic Development

(b) Setting a Switch-off Date

10. Free-to-air digital television (DTV) needs to establish itself, and time is needed to assess take-up rates and the public response to DTV. An initial target date (or range) for ASO will therefore only be announced once total DTV penetration reaches around 60%. Following this, a firm date will be set once penetration reaches around 75%, or in 2012 – whichever is first.

Is it very clear that a date for ASO (analogue shutoff) will be announced in 2012 or when uptake reaches 75%. ASO will NOT occur in 2012 or when 75% of households have digital TV. 

Industry expectations are that ASO will occur when digital uptake reaches around 90%. This is expected to occur sometime around 2014 - 2016. It will certainly not be occuring in 2012.

I've blogged about this in the past and it's clear that many members of the mainstream media seem to struggle to grasp this basic fact as it seems to be continually repeated. A little bit of reading on the MED website will give you all the facts.

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Steve Biddle
New Zealand

I'm an engineer who loves building solutions to solve problems.

I also love sharing my views and analysis of the tech world on this blog, along with the odd story about aviation and the travel industry.

My interests and skillset include:

*VoIP (Voice over IP). I work with various brands of hardware and PBX's on a daily basis
  -Asterisk (incl PiaF, FreePBX, Elastix)

  -xDSL deployments

*Structured cabling
  -Home/office cabling
  -Phone & Data

*Computer networking
  -Mikrotik hardware
  -WAN/LAN solutions

*Wireless solutions
  -Motel/Hotel hotspot deployments
  -Outdoor wireless deployments, both small and large scale
  -Temporary wireless deployments
*CCTV solutions
  -Analogue and IP

I'm an #avgeek who loves to travel the world (preferably in seat 1A) and stay in nice hotels.

+My views do no represent my employer. I'm sure they'll be happy to give their own if you ask them.

You can contact me here or by email at