Analog radio retransmissions are used in areas or pockets of poor reception to extend the coverage of analog national, commercial or community services.
The Authority has the discretion to make spectrum available for retransmissions under sections 34 and 212 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the Act).
In considering the retransmission of services, section 212 of the Act provides for the retransmission of commercial and community broadcasting services:
- within a licence area; and
- outside of the licence area of the originating service with permission from the Authority.
Section 212 also provides for the retransmission of national services.
Section 34 of the Act allows the Authority 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. Information about retransmitting television broadcasting services in digital mode can be found on the ACMA website.
A licence area is the area within which a licensee 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?
Applicants who may wish to provide facilities to retransmit national, commercial or community services include:
- self-help providers (as defined in section 212A of the Act)
- community groups
- licensees of services outside the licence area of the service to be re-transmitted. (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.
Commercial and community services inside licence areas, and national services
In assessing an application from an eligible applicant to retransmit a commercial or community broadcasting service within a licence area, and for national services, the ACMA will have regard to the following:
- whether the application is for the retransmission of a service already licensed to operate within that area
- whether there is an abundance of broadcasting spectrum within that area
- the power of the proposed facility
- whether a retransmission facility is technically necessary
- whether the public consultation conducted by the Authority to date has revealed other demand for the available broadcasting spectrum
- the number of services in the area proposing to be served, and
- such other matters as the Authority considers relevant.
Commercial and community services outside licence areas
In assessing an application from an eligible applicant for permission to retransmit a commercial or community broadcasting service outside a licence area, the ACMA will have regard to the following:
- whether or not the area is already receiving the number of commercial or community services as determined in the licence area plan (LAP) for that licence area
- if the area is not receiving the number of commercial or community services determined in the LAP for that licence area, the ACMA will give the incumbent licensee for that licence area first right to provide its service to that 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 the applicant 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