27 July 2009
The ACMA proposes changes to radio services in Launceston
The Australian Communications and Media Authority is proposing to make new FM frequencies available to 7EX and 7LA to improve service reception in the Launceston city area. The ACMA is also proposing to make an AM frequency available for a high power open narrowcasting service at Launceston.
These proposed changes are contained in a draft variation to the Launceston radio licence area plan released today for public comment.
‘The ACMA’s proposed variation follows consideration of the requests from licensees for improvement to reception in Launceston city,’ said Chris Chapman, Chairman of the ACMA.
‘Terrain obstruction is affecting the reception of the 7EX and 7LA services in Launceston city.’
The FM translator services are proposed for use as an ‘infill’ where the coverage from the main transmitter is restricted and suffers multipath reception.
Two companies have expressed their interest in providing a narrowcasting service and one person has previously expressed an interest in providing a community broadcasting service in Launceston.
‘There are currently no open narrowcasting services available in Launceston and the ACMA is of the view that narrowcasting services play a major role in promoting diversity’, said Mr Chapman.
In developing the proposed changes, the ACMA has considered the criteria set out in Part 3 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992. As a result of those considerations, the ACMA is also proposing to make the vacant AM frequency, 1008 kHz, available for narrowcasting purposes in Launceston. The ACMA is not proposing to make any frequencies available for additional community radio services as part of this variation.
However, the ACMA will consider comments received from the public in relation to the proposed changes to radio services in Launceston before reaching a final view. Details of the proposal are contained in the explanatory paper and draft variation to the Launceston radio licence area plan. These documents are available from the ACMA website or by calling 1300 850 115.
The closing date for comments on these proposals is 5pm, Friday 28 August 2009.
Media contact: Donald Robertson, Media Manager, on (02) 9334 7980.
Licence area plans
The ACMA prepares licence area plans under subsection 26(1) of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the BSA). Licence area plans (LAP) 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 Act, 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.
In detail, the draft variation to the licence area plan released today proposes:
- to make channel capacity (100.3 MHz and 101.1 MHz) available for additional translators at Launceston with a maximum ERP of 200 W (omni-directional) for the commercial radio services 7EX and 7LA, respectively, to rectify deficient coverage of these services to the central business district (CBD) of Launceston;
- to make channel capacity in the AM band (1008 kHz) available for a new high power open narrowcasting service in Launceston with a maximum CMF of 1100 Volts (directional) to promote the diversity of services available in Launceston;
- not to make channel capacity available for an additional community radio service in Launceston; and
- to update the description of the existing commercial and community licence areas in the Launceston LAP so that they are defined in terms used in the 2006 census.