NBN 'too expensive' for regional TV networks

Summary:The chairman of Seven West Media, Kerry Stokes, has told a joint Senate committee that its regional Queensland network cannot afford to use the NBN.

The national broadband network (NBN) will hurt regional broadcasters, and TV stations should get free access to the network, Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes has said.

Seven's regional Queensland network will not be able to afford the NBN when it replaces existing infrastructure, Mr Stokes told a joint Senate committee hearing on proposed media reforms on Monday.

The regional TV business currently uses its own transmitters and cables to connect its various newsrooms, he said.

"Once we go to NBN, that's a whole different ball game," Mr Stokes told the committee.

"We have to actually pay NBN to use their facilities, and their facilities are much more expensive than our transmitters."

Arrangements are yet to be finalised on how television networks will use the NBN, and Mr Stokes said that his company wants free access.

"Our submissions to them is that free TV should be free on the NBN, just as it is on the airwaves," he said.

"That is still a matter that hasn't been resolved."

Topics: NBN, Government : AU

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