Eastgrove residents have been left without antenna access to SBS and ABC television channels. The broadcaster Rural Broadcast Australia Holdings (RBAH) has stopped maintenance and equipment replacement for ABC and SBS at the Eastgrove tower.
The Eastgrove tower was originally built in the late 1990s. At the time Eastgrove residents paid a $40 levy to help fund construction. A 30 metre high digital television tower replaced the analogue structure at Mount Gray in 2011.
A RBAH spokesperson said since 2011 the ABC and SBS services at the Eastgrove site had been funded by regional broadcasters.
"Unfortunately due to the continuing decline of commercial revenue in regional Australia, RBAH members have had to take the position that they will no longer fund the ongoing maintenance or replacement of equipment guaranteeing the continuation of ABC or SBS from RBAH sites," they said.
"In May of this year RBAH notified the ABC, SBS and the Department of Communications that we could no longer provide the maintenance guaranteeing ABC or SBS transmission from RBAH sites. Therefore as we have failures at these sites, ABC and or SBS transmission may no longer be available."
The spokesperson said RBAH offered the ABC and SBS the opportunity to continue maintenance under a commercial agreement but it was declined.
"The Eastgrove site unfortunately has had a failure and the ABC and SBS have been notified that they are no longer transmitting from the site," they said.
Eastgrove resident Keith Binns said the situation was "absolutely ridiculous".
He said the area was not out in the middle of nowhere and was located only an hour from Canberra.
ABC and SBS will only be available through the internet or via satellite. The resident said a lot of people in Eastgrove were older and "didn't have a clue" about technology.
He said the area regularly experienced outages and when the channels first stopped working most residents assumed it was only temporary.
"We lost the stations and nothing was said, I didn't inquire until after ten days," Mr Binns said.
"The lack of information is more annoying than the situation."
Ann Faraday, who also lives in Eastgrove, said older people and families with young children relied on the ABC and SBS channels. She said this was particularly relevant with COVID-19 at the moment.
"Something has to be done," Ms Faraday said.
"In this day and age it's not good enough."
Goulburn Mulwaree Council said they were not responsible for the maintenance of the tower.
Federal MP Angus Taylor was contacted for comment.