11 April 2003
ABA seeks submissions on whether to delay commercial radio licences
The Australian Broadcasting Authority has decided to seek submissions on whether to defer the availability of spectrum for further commercial FM radio licences in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
The ABA has planned commercial FM radio licences in the Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane markets that have yet to be allocated. The timing of these allocations was set out at the time of the relevant licence area plans in order to provide certainty to the industry and the marketplace. Therefore, the ABA will only be minded to consider deferring the availability of spectrum for these commercial radio licences if there has been a significant change in market circumstances since the determination of the relevant licence area plan.
The ABA's move follows approaches by a number of interested parties, some concerned that it proceed, others concerned that it should not proceed or that it should delay.
The proposed timeframes for the allocation of these licences are only tentative. They are:
The crucial question, as the ABA sees it, is whether circumstances in the market (or similar markets) since the timing decision have changed in some major way such that proceeding with the allocation now would fail to promote the objects of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, including the economic and efficient allocation of spectrum. In looking at this question, the ABA will look at each licence area as a separate and distinct market.
Submissions are due by close of business, Friday 9 May 2003. After that time the ABA will proceed to decide whether or not to formally consider varying the relevant licence area plan through the normal public process.
Media contact Donald Robertson, ABA Manager Media and PR on (02) 9334 7980.