The CBOnline sector project refers to several related information and communications technology (ICT)-based infrastructure projects including: the Digital Delivery Network (DDN), the National Listeners Survey (NLS), the National Community Broadcasting Station Census and a range of other ICT infrastructure activities. While each initiative has a separate principal function they are in many ways interrelated and synergistic. The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) is the project manager for the CBOnline sector project. A brief description of each initiative follows:
Digital Delivery Network (DDN)
The DDN is a project that provides stations, through the use of computers linked to the sector's CRN satellite channel and the internet, with facilities for the online ordering and automated capture, storage and retrieval of audio and data (audio, text and image) files. It also provides a parallel digital distribution system via datacasting on the satellite channel's associated low-speed data channel. Activities include:
- Supply and replacement of DDN computers;
- Station-end support: telephone, software support and backup;
- Software development: capture, audio and datacast replay; and
- Equipment replacement planning, selection and reporting.
The NLS is a survey of the community radio listening habits of Australians though a hybrid telephone and online survey of a representative sample of Australians over the age of 15, across all Australian states and territories. The NLS is conducted by McNair Ingenuity Research, a fully accredited Australian market and social research organisation with a long history of media research dating back to the first radio audience surveys held in the 1930s. Biennial research from 2004 onwards is published on the CBAA website, with biannual fact sheets available since 2014.
The Community Broadcasting Station Census aggregates data from licensed community broadcasting stations to provide a snapshot of the sector across a range of categories including programming, volunteers, staffing, financial, technical and training information. Data is collected through a biennial industry survey. Public release reports publishing Station Census data from 2001/02 onwards can be found on the CBAA website
3CMedia is an academic journal on citizen and non-profit media and communications, facilitated by the CBOnline sector project, which can be found on the CBAA website.
Grants are available via the CBF to support projects at community radio and television stations. Categories include: