13 December 2006
ACMA Extends Licence Area Of Community Radio service 2RPH
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has decided to make channel capacity available to improve reception and extend the licence area of the community radio service 2RPH Sydney.
ACMA’s decision increases the 2RPH Sydney licence area and makes channel capacity available for translators to extend coverage of the service to the regional centres of Newcastle and Wollongong.
ACMA has decided to make two medium power FM frequencies available for 2RPH, one each at Newcastle and Wollongong plus an additional FM low power in-fill frequency at Kings Cross in Sydney. 2RPH already broadcasts on a high power AM frequency in Sydney (1224 kHz).
‘In making its decision, ACMA took into consideration the special nature of the community service provided by 2RPH to a wide range of people who are not able to access normal printed material,’ said Giles Tanner, General Manager of ACMA’s Inputs to Industry Division. ‘In this respect RPH is different to geographically-based community radio services.’
‘ACMA took into account the submissions it received in response to the draft licence area plan released in August 2006 and considered the possibility of making the unallocated spectrum available for an additional community radio service in either Newcastle or Sydney. In weighing up its options, ACMA believes that the expansion of the 2RPH radio service will not only add to the diversity of services in the Newcastle and Wollongong regions but is the most economic and efficient use of the spectrum.’’
The decision is contained in the NSW Community radio licence area plan, released today. The associated documents are available on the ACMA website, or by calling Freecall 1800 226 667.
Media contact: Donald Robertson, ACMA Media Manager on (02) 9334 7980.
ACMA prepares licence area plans under section 26(1) of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the Act). Licence area plans determine the number and characteristics, including technical specifications, of broadcasting services that are to be available in particular areas of Australia with the use of the broadcasting services bands. ACMA may vary licence area plans under section 26(2) of the Act.
The licence area plan released today determines:
- technical specifications for additional transmitters for the community radio broadcasting service 2RPH Sydney, to serve the areas of Kings Cross, Wollongong and Newcastle.
- designates a non-contiguous licence area for 2RPH, to incorporate Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong.
These changes will rectify deficiencies in reception for 2RPH in the eastern suburbs of Sydney and make 2RPH available to a new and larger licence area that includes the cities of Newcastle and Wollongong;
ACMA decided to transfer 1224 kHz from the Sydney radio licence area plan to the new NSW Community Radio licence area plan. This AM frequency will still be assigned to 2RPH for the purpose of providing a community radio service in Sydney.
The FM channel capacity for Kings Cross and Newcastle, 100.5 MHz, has not been made available previously in any determined licence area plan.
The FM frequency, 93.3 MHz that has been identified to be used for the translator for 2RPH in Wollongong was previously made available for a community radio service in the Wollongong licence area plan, determined in July 1999. As no service is being provided on this frequency it is being removed from the Wollongong licence area plan.
The permanent use of 100.5 MHz for community radio will further limit the opportunity for special event groups to provide a service in the Sydney market, leaving only 89.5 MHz and 90.9 MHz available to provide limited coverage services and only in certain locations. The actual locations where these frequencies can be used can only be identified on a case-by-case basis. However, a preliminary investigation shows that 90.9 MHz is suitable for use at most of the locations within the Sydney market that accommodate the major special events, such as the Royal Easter Show and Ramadan.