22 June 2004


The group promoting a TransACT-supported community television initiative is now calling itself OurTV.

OurTV organisers hosted a meeting on 18 June at TransACT House to further the proposal. About 40 people attended the meeting, representing organizations including TransACT itself, the Community Television Association of Australia (CTVAA), AARNET, GrangeNet, the Sydney community television community (with representatives from Community Television Sydney (CTS) and Television Sydney (TVS)), Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM), Canberra filmmakers, distributors and independent producers, Australian College of Entertainment, ACT DET, CIT, ANU and the University of Canberra. There were also a number of people there as individuals with interests in developing and disseminating content.

If a representative community-based organization can be established to be responsible for co-ordinating the transmissions, TransACT has agreed to provide a channel on its network at no cost for a trial of community television in the ACT (at least where its subscribers are receiving TransTV). OurTV has proposed this trial as a stepping stone to free-to-air broadcasts at a later time when a licence can be granted by the Australian Broadcasting Authority.

AARNET and GrangeNet are particularly interested in the OurTV proposal because it will be the first all-digital community television service in the Southern Hemisphere, and probably the world. The Video on Demand server currently being developed at the University of Canberra to provide for the reception, recording and reticulation of satellite and terrestrial television and radio services will fit in with the proposed OurTV trial: technically we will be able to take at least completed programs on miniDV or other tape format and provide them to OurTV for broadcast, and possibly even live feeds from the television studio (although there are no plans to provide live programs at the moment).

If the Division is interested in being involved with the OurTV Community Television trial, it should register its interest on the OurTV website (http://www.ourtv.net.au/). The organisers are seeking supporters to execute a well-defined project later this year as a sort of "taster" to demonstrate the end-to-end process of acquiring local content, manufacturing programs and getting them to air in advance of a community television trial in December 2004.

The group has produced a flyer in Acrobat format.