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Economy, Communications

national television network, state capitals, Radio Australia, shortwave radio, Commercial radio

Australia maintains contact with the rest of the world by such means as satellite, submarine telegraph cable, radio-telephone, and phototelegraph services. Since 1975 the Australian Telecommunications Commission has been responsible for telecommunications services within Australia; the Australian Postal Commission manages the postal services. In 2000 there were 525 telephone mainlines for every 1,000 people. Commercial radio and television stations operate under licenses granted by the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA). In 1997 about 260 private broadcasters offered radio services, and there were 48 private television broadcasters; each of these private operators relies on the sale of airtime, chiefly for advertising. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is the country’s only national noncommercial broadcaster. It operates one national television network and six national radio networks, including Radio National, ABC-FM, and the Triple-J youth network. In addition, it operates Radio Australia, an international service broadcast by shortwave radio to Papua New Guinea and the Pacific region, and by satellite to the wider Asia-Pacific region in English and other languages.

Australia has about 650 newspapers, including 65 dailies with a combined daily circulation of 5.4 million. The Australian is a national-circulation daily with simultaneous editions published in several major cities. The state capitals also support their own large-circulation dailies, including the Sydney Morning Herald; The Age and Herald Sun (both published in Melbourne); Courier-Mail (Brisbane); Advertiser (Adelaide); and West Australian (Perth). Local weekly newspapers are more popular in rural areas.

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