Post by PJ
I have recently finished reading the excellent book "Compulsive Viewing"
which covers the history of Channel 9. One section of the book talks about
Channel 9 building a microwave/radio tower link between Sydney and
Melbourne to allow real-time transmission and then getting in big trouble
over it because it was illegal and only the government/PMG/Telecom were
allowed to build such infrastructure at the time.
Does anyone out there know anything about this? When it happened? How it
happened? Whether it actually got turned on or used before the government
shut them down?
You are a bit off-track with this. It wasn't the microwave link itself which
was illegal, so much as the use that the TV channel was making of it (they
had legitimately used microwave links for outside broadcasts for years).
At that time, the law said that any interstate links had to be done by the
PMG, so in this instance the TV channel was attempting to bypass the
And it wasn't really the Government who was the bad guy, but the incredibly
powerful country/regional broadcasters who desperately wanted to stop
capital city broadcasters encroaching in their territory.
We saw the same fight (between city and country) every time new technology
A similar fight over the Satellite networks is why the "free to air"
channels on the satellites are encrypted today. The networks were terrified
that satellite viewers might get to see the wrong adverts for their area.
This bun-fight wasn't really sorted until the country networks were
rationalised and joined up with the city networks. But that's another story.