12 November 2009
The ACMA proposes channels for ABC NewsRadio services in Deniliquin and Upper Murray
The Australian Communications and Media Authority is seeking written submissions from the public on proposals to make channels available for ABC NewsRadio services in Deniliquin and the Upper Murray region.
The ACMA is proposing to make channel capacity (100.9 MHz) available in Deniliquin and Upper Murray to allow the ABC to provide its NewsRadio service.
‘The proposed changes are part of the broader plan to extend these ABC services to all transmission areas of Australia with a population of 10,000 or more,’ said Chris Chapman, Chairman of the ACMA.
‘The ACMA’s proposal to make frequencies available for ABC radio services also involves changes to the current frequencies planned for community radio services in Wodonga and Deniliquin, and the ACMA is keen to receive community feedback on this issue,’ said Chris Chapman, Chairman of the ACMA.
The frequency planned for a community radio service at Wodonga is currently used by Albury Wodonga Christian Broadcasters Inc under a temporary community broadcasting licence. The frequency in Deniliquin planned for a community radio service is currently neither allocated on a long-term basis nor operated under a temporary licence.
The ACMA has identified alternative frequencies for the affected community services. In Wodonga, the new frequency would allow for similar levels of coverage to that currently provided by Albury Wodonga Christian Broadcasters Inc. In Deniliquin, the new frequency would be able to operate at sufficient power to serve the local area.
Details of the proposed changes are contained in the draft variation to the licence area plans for Albury and Deniliquin radio and accompanying explanatory paper released for public comment today.
These and other related documents are available on the ACMA website or by calling 1300 850 115.
The closing date for comments on these proposals is 5:00pm, Friday 11 December 2009.
Media contact: Donald Robertson, Media Manager on (02) 9334 7980.
The ACMA prepares licence area plans under subsection 26(1) of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the BSA). Licence area plans determine the number and characteristics, including technical specifications, of broadcasting services in particular areas of Australia with the use of the broadcasting services bands. The ACMA may vary licence area plans under subsection 26(2) of the BSA.
Section 23 of the BSA imposes specific obligations on the ACMA when carrying out its planning functions, including, amongst other things, that the ACMA is required to perform its functions in a way that promotes the objects of the BSA, including the economic and efficient use of the radiofrequency spectrum.
Section 27 of the BSA provides that the ACMA must make provisions for wide public consultation when considering whether to make or vary a licence area plan.
Upper Murray and Deniliquin
The previous and current governments have committed to the roll-out of the Parliamentary News Network/NewsRadio (PNN) service to areas in Australia with a population of 10,000 or more people, subject to the availability of spectrum in those areas.
The ACMA was asked to identify available FM spectrum for a new ABC NewsRadio radio service in the upper Murray region.
Due to spectrum congestion, the ACMA has been unable to identify unencumbered FM spectrum in the upper Murray region that would meet the requirements of the Government or the ABC. The ACMA has found that the frequency 100.9 MHz is potentially available if changes are made to the frequencies planned for community radio broadcasting services at Wodonga and Deniliquin.
As the use of 100.9 MHz has the potential to cause co-channel and adjacent channel interference to community radio broadcasting services planned to operate on 100.7 MHz in Wodonga and 100.9 MHz in Deniliquin, new frequencies are proposed for these services.
It is intended to extend the coverage of the proposed ABC service by employing the same frequency in Deniliquin as at Albury (100.9 MHz, via a co-frequency repeater). This will ensure NewsRadio coverage of both the upper Murray and Deniliquin areas and will also allow the ABC to trial this co-frequency repeater configuration.