Low-income households may receive set-top box free

Lower-income families may receive a free set-top box before the Federal Government switches television signals from analog to digital.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy says giving digital converters to lower income families is being considered, but says more assistance would be provided to the technologically-illiterate.

“The concern I have is that I’ve tested this myself to find out how easy it is to install a set-top box if you are not very technically literate. I’ve got to tell you it’s not that easy. Some people can do it dead easy, but for others it’s quite a challenge,” he tells The Age.

Conroy says services offered in Britain deserve attention. “They’ve done it region by region, they’ve provided boxes, assisted people with installation and even had people changing antennas if necessary.”

The Government will switch off analog signals between 2010 and 2013, beginning in Mildura in June 2010 and ending in Sydney on 31 December 2013.

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