The ACMA

Community radio and TV

Community licensing

Retransmission of analog radio services

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Analog radio retransmissions are used in areas or pockets of poor reception to extend the coverage of analog national, commercial or community services. Read on to find out who is eligible and how to apply to retransmit.

About retransmissions

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) has the discretion to make spectrum available for retransmissions under sections 34 and 212 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the Act).

The Act provides for the retransmission of commercial and community broadcasting services:

  • within a licence area

  • outside of the licence area of the originating service

  • for the retransmission of national services.

Section 34 of the Act allows the ACMA to make spectrum which is currently not being used available for the retransmission of a service for a specified period.

NOTE: As a result of the impending switch off of analog television broadcasting services, the ACMA is unlikely to approve new requests from self-help providers seeking to provide television retransmission services in analog mode. Read further information about retransmitting television broadcasting services in digital mode on the ACMA website.

Licence areas

A licence area is the area within which a licence holder is entitled to provide a service. All commercial and community broadcasting services have designated licence areas. National services do not have designated licence areas.

Who can apply?

Successful applicants for retransmitting national, commercial or community services include:

  • self-help providers (as defined in section 212A of the Act)

  • community groups

  • individuals

  • licensees of services outside the licence area of the retransmitted service. (A licensee is ineligible to apply for retransmission of its own service under the provisions of section 212.)

NOTE: Only defined self-help providers are exempt from copyright obligations as provided for in the Copyright Act 1968.

Assessment

Commercial and community services inside licence areas, and national services

When assessing your application to retransmit a service the ACMA considers:

  • whether your application is for the retransmission of a service already licensed to operate within your area

  • whether there is an abundance of broadcasting spectrum within your area

  • the power of your proposed facility

  • whether your retransmission facility is technically necessary

  • whether the public consultation conducted by the ACMA to date has revealed other demand for the available broadcasting spectrum

  • the number of services in the area you propose to serve.

Commercial and community services outside licence areas

In assessing your application for permission to retransmit a commercial or community broadcasting service outside a licence area, the ACMA considers:

  • whether or not your area is already receiving the number of commercial or community services as determined in the relevant licence area plan (LAP)

  • if your area is not receiving the number of commercial or community services determined for your licence area, the ACMA will give the incumbent licensee for that licence area first right to provide its service to your area

    • the incumbent licensee has 21 days to advise the ACMA of its plans, including a timeframe for delivering the retransmission service

    • when the incumbent licensee chooses to provide a service, the ACMA will be guided by the incumbent licensee's timeframe

    • the application will be reconsidered if the incumbent licensee does not provide a service within its specified timeframe

  • If an incumbent licensee refuses to provide a service to an area, the Authority may give permission, under section 212 of the Act, to you to retransmit another service into that area.

How to apply

Complete ACMA Form B12 and fax or mail to the ACMA.

Successful applicants are required to pay a transmitter licence tax.

Australian Communications and Media Authority
PO Box 78
BELCONNEN ACT 2616
Fax: (02) 6219 5347
Phone: 1300 850 115

Last updated: 08 November 2013

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