Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Australian Traffic Network

ABC Melbourne uses one of its very personable producers in the morning to seek out traffic and public transport information so that listeners are alerted to problems, accidents, delays etc. ABC Melbourne used to do the same in the afternoon but suddenly, without any explanation that I heard, outsourced its afternoon traffic information to a private company called Australian Traffic Network.

It is probably a good move. ABC Melbourne depended heavily on Vic Roads for information and it seemed very unreliable and slow. I learnt of this new company a while ago and I was quite ready to be critical of the ABC decision, but after some time, I think they provide a superior but still a very personalised service. I have just checked and they are providing the service for ABC Sydney and many other ABC radio stations.

I always worry about our taxpayer funded ABC's connections with private companies and the potential of commercial interests coming to the fore, but in this case, on the surface it seems ok, although there doesn't seem to be a competitor to the Australian Traffic Network.

I would rest much easier if it was all a lot more transparent. What is the deal between the ABC and the Australian Traffic Network? What was the deal between ABC Melbourne and City Link so that their radio broadcast could be heard in the City Link's tunnels?

While I resigned as a member of our local gay radio station, JOY, over transparency and keeping members informed, I can't resign from the ABC, but I can ask and query.

Australian Traffic Network website is here if you want to take a look.

4 comments:

  1. Ooooh, err.
    I was told the VicRoads service was a paid service so it's up against the new Aust Traffic Network.
    VicRoads, one could say, has many fingers in many pies which may or may not have enhanced the particular pies.

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  2. I thought you could hear any radio station in the tunnel & CL will cut the broadcast and do their own stuff if required.

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  3. the Australian Traffic Network is everywhere, they do a lot of the commercial radio stations traffic reports too and I believe also do the traffic reports for Sunrise and Channel 10 news. Do any radio stations actually do their own traffic reports nowadays? I think they all outsource it now.

    I don't know if ABC pays more for the service given that they can't run commercial messages in the traffic reports like the other stations do.

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  4. Jayne, if Vic Roads kept their website up to date with real time information, maybe they could compete. Interesting that they get paid.

    Fen, for the first few years ABC Radio could not be heard in the tunnels as they refused to pay CL to re broadcast. I know JOY can't be heard in the tunnel and I doubt most community stations can be.

    I think you are right about the outsourcing TVAU. Probably makes sound financial sense, rather than having umpteen choppers filling the skies. The arrangement between ABC and ATN would be interesting to know, no doubt commercial in confidence.

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