7 August 2003
Community television trial to resume in Adelaide
The Australian Broadcasting Authority has invited C31 Adelaide Limited (C31) to operate the community television broadcasting trial service in Adelaide.
The ABA will make available UHF channel 31 for a period of 12 months for the trial. The service will operate under the open narrowcasting television 'class licence' for community and educational non-profit purposes.
The ABA received five expressions of interest for the community television trial: C31, Adelaide Community & Educational Television Inc., Australian College of Entertainment Ltd, Adelaide One Television Inc. (Adelaide One) and The Adelaide CTV Consortium. Adelaide One subsequently withdrew its expression of interest to support C31.
"C31 is proposing a general service to meet a variety of local community needs. It has been able to demonstrate broad community support and has established relationships with content providers representing different interests," said Professor David Flint, ABA Chairman.
It is the intention of the ABA to seek applications for a permanent community television licence to serve the Adelaide licence area during the 12-month trial period. If the permanent licence is awarded prior to the end of the trial period then the trial licence will be cancelled at that time.
To contact C31, please call Mr Andrei Koeppen on 0417 832 878.
Media contact Donald Robertson, ABA Manager Media and PR on (02) 9334 7980.
What is a trial community television broadcasting service?
In 1992, the Government asked the ABA to conduct a trial of community television (CTV) using the vacant sixth television channel (channel 31 in metropolitan areas) in Australia. CTV has operated on a trial basis since 1994 under the open narrowcasting television 'class licence' for community and educational purposes.
An open narrowcasting service is a service that is limited in one of a number of ways as defined at section 18 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the Act). These ways include, by targeting a special interest group, by providing programming of limited appeal, by being provided for a limited duration, or by servicing a limited location such as a business premise or sporting arena.
Class licences are not separately issued in the manner of service licences such as permanent community or commercial licences. However, to operate a narrowcasting service using the broadcasting services bands (BSB), a service provider must obtain from the ABA an apparatus licence (under the Radiocommunications Act 1992).
A condition is placed on these licences that they be used only for 'community and educational non-profit purposes'.
Why is the ABA conducting a further trial in Adelaide?
The trial will provide the Adelaide community with an opportunity to participate in the operation of the trial service and to develop the capacity necessary to provide a permanent community television broadcasting service.
The ABA intends to seek applications for a permanent community television licence to serve the Adelaide licence area during the 12-month trial period. If the permanent licence is awarded prior to the end of the trial period then the trial licence will be cancelled at that time.
Who may operate a trial CTV service?
Under the Radiocommunications Act 1992, an apparatus licence may be held by an individual. The ABA, however, will only issue an apparatus licence to operate a trial community television broadcasting service on the condition that it is used only for community and educational purposes. The ABA must also be satisfied that the service will provide for participative management and programming practices.
It is, therefore, desirable that the operator of the trial service be a company formed in Australia or an external Territory (including companies limited by guarantee and incorporated associations) that represents a community interest.