Digital Radio (DAB+)


Free-to-air radio, delivered in crystal-clear, digital quality


What is DAB+?

DAB+ stands for Digital Audio Broadcasting Plus, a cutting-edge radio transmission technology delivering exceptional sound quality and an expansive range of program content.

Unlike internet radio, DAB+ is a free-to-air broadcast platform, ensuring you have access to diverse radio content without relying on an internet connection or consuming data.

Available through digital radio receivers, mobile devices, or in-car adapters, DAB+ provides a cost-free and dependable means of accessing your favourite radio station.

How does DAB+ benefit my station?

DAB+ is a game-changer for community radio stations.

Over 30% of community radio listening is now via digital radio, highlighting its growing importance in the broadcasting landscape.

With spectrum efficiency at its core, DAB+ utilises all available frequencies, allowing for a wider array of services and programming – all while maintaining crystal-clear sound quality.

On top of that, the graphical-based interface for Service and Program Information (SPI) presents greater branding opportunities for stations. Coupled with metadata integration, it provides your listeners with a greatly improved radio experience.

When can I expect the DAB+ rollout in my area?

Commencing in Australia’s major cities in 2011, the DAB+ rollout continues to expand. Currently there are over 60 digital services provided by community radio licensees across Australia’s cities with ongoing trials and plans for future expansion into regional areas – stations with RA1 licenses that align with the rollout zones are contacted automatically.

The rollout is facilitated by the Digital Radio Project (DRP), which coordinates negotiations and payments between transmitter licensees and radio station.

Community Broadcasting Foundation funding ensures that community stations will continue to be a vital part of Australia’s future multi-platform media environment.

DAB+ is set to revolutionise radio broadcasting across Australia, providing more choices, superior sound quality and additional services for stations and listeners alike 

What about the cost?

All initial installation costs for DAB+ are covered by Federal funding.

Ongoing transmission costs are also federally supported, with station contribution, ensuring affordable access for all.

For more information, reach out to us at [email protected] or call 02 9310 299.


How does Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB+) work?

DAB+ utilises an audio compression encoding system to transmit data, which digital radio receivers decode, allowing listeners to hear the broadcast and see related information on compatible devices.

Who is eligible for DAB+?

Eligibility for DAB+ broadcasting primarily includes stations with RA1 licenses that match the digital radio rollout license area. However, stations with overlapping license areas or those with RA2 licenses can also be deemed eligible by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

What are the benefits?

DAB+ provides numerous benefits including enhanced sound quality, the ability to broadcast more stations, and integrated metadata. Additionally, it enables stations to offer a wider variety of programming and generate additional revenue through secondary services.

What about broadcasting online?

While many stations offer online streaming, digital radio broadcasting via DAB+ offers a different set of benefits, including free-to-air transmission, wider accessibility, and independence from internet data costs.

Where is the DAB+ rollout next?

The DAB+ rollout is following a phased approach, with services already available in major cities and recently extended to more regional areas. Ongoing planning and development are underway to continue expanding digital radio services to regional areas, with the CBAA actively advocating for community radio’s inclusion.

How is DAB+ funded?

DAB+ is funded by the Federal Government, which supports access to broadcast facilities, infrastructure costs, and shared transmission costs. This ensures that community digital radio services remain affordable and accessible.

What is CBAA’s involvement in the DRP?

Community digital radio is facilitated by the CBAA via the Digital Radio Project (DRP), which serves our commitment to the advancement and development of community digital radio services on a free-to-air basis.

Why is DAB+ crucial for community broadcasters?

DAB+ ensures that community broadcasters have access to the digital platform, securing their place as radio digitises. This is crucial for maintaining audience reach, providing diverse and local content, and ensures that community radio remains vibrant and relevant in both urban and regional areas.

How can our station start broadcasting with DAB+?

To start broadcasting with DAB+, your station needs to be eligible and hold the appropriate license – contact the ACMA to confirm eligibility. When your area is equipped for DAB+ broadcasting, the DRP will contact you to initiate the process.

How do Digital Community Broadcast licensees access digital radio transmission?

Community broadcasters access digital radio transmission via multiplex transmitters, which are shared facilities used to broadcast multiple station signals simultaneously. Stations send their digitised signals to these transmitters, ensuring efficient and wide-ranging broadcast coverage.

If you have any further questions about DAB+, reach out to our team at [email protected] or call 02 9310 299.

DAB Digital Radio Photo

Joshua Cole, 28th June 2024

We have released a series of informative video guides aimed at helping community radio stations optimise their digital radio services using Radius. Radius is a tool designed to manage metadata, allowing stations to enhance their broadcasting capabilities.

7EDG digital radio

Helen Henry, 1st April 2019

Community radio services in Hobart are now a step closer to being available on DAB+ Digital Radio.

Jon Bisset

jbisset, 31st October 2018

First and foremost, it is an exciting time to be in community radio, not least due to record breaking national listening audience of 5.7 million listeners per week.

2016 CBAA Conference

Helen Henry, 28th July 2017

Digital transformation and documentary-making added to this year's program.

Keep Community Radio

hfriedlander, 4th May 2017

The community broadcasting sector today welcomes the Federal Government’s decision to increase sector funding by $6.1m over two years.