Invitation: applications for digital radio licences | ACMA

Invitation: applications for digital radio licences

Applications are invited for digital radio multiplex transmitter licences in Canberra and Darwin

 

The ACMA has published a notice inviting applications from eligible joint venture companies for foundation category 1 digital radio multiplex transmitter licences for the Canberra RA1 and Darwin RA1 BSA radio areas.

 

Application closing date

 

There is no official closing date.

 

Licence details and conditions

 

Issuing of a licence

 

The ACMA cannot issue a category 1 digital radio multiplex transmitter licence to a person unless the person is a qualified company. An applicant for a foundation category 1 digital radio multiplex transmitter licence must be an eligible joint venture company and pay the fee of $472.

 

If, following the publication of this notice pursuant to paragraph 102C(3)(a) of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (the Act):

 

  • the ACMA receives no applications from eligible joint venture companies; or
  • one or more applications are received from eligible joint venture companies but the ACMA has refused to issue a licence to any of the applicants;

the ACMA may choose to conduct a price-based allocation of that licence under section 106 of the Act.

 

Eligible joint venture company

 

Under subsection 102C(5) of the Act, a company is an eligible joint venture company for the purpose of a category 1 digital radio multiplex transmitter licence if:

 

(a) before the company was formed, the promoters of the company initially invited:

(i) each incumbent digital commercial radio broadcasting licensee for the designated BSA radio area; and

 

(ii) if there is a digital community radio broadcasting representative company for the designated BSA radio area—the digital community radio broadcasting representative company;

 

to subscribe for shares in the first-mentioned company on the basis that:

 

(iii) the incumbent digital commercial radio broadcasting licensees who accepted the invitation would be issued with an equal number of shares; and

 

(iv) the only persons entitled to subscribe for shares in the first-mentioned company are the incumbent digital commercial radio broadcasting licensees and the digital community radio broadcasting representative company; and

 

(v) assuming that the invitation were to be accepted by each invitee—the incumbent digital commercial radio broadcasting licensees would, in aggregate, hold seven-ninths of the shares in the first-mentioned company; and

 

(vi) assuming that the invitation were to be accepted by each invitee—the digital community radio broadcasting representative company would hold two-ninths of the shares in the first-mentioned company; and

 

(b) in a case where not all of the invitations referred to in paragraph (a) were accepted—before the company was formed, the promoters of the first-mentioned company invited each person who had accepted an invitation referred to in paragraph (a) to subscribe for the remaining shares in the first-mentioned company; and

 

(c) the invitations referred to in paragraph (a) were:

 

(i) published on the ACMA’s website; and

 

(ii) open for a period of at least 120 days; and

 

(d) there was no discrimination between subscribers for shares in the first-mentioned company in relation to the consideration payable for the issue of the shares concerned; and

 

(e) the total amount of money payable as consideration for the issue of the shares in the first-mentioned company is not substantially in excess of the total amount that, as at the time the invitations referred to in paragraph (a) are published, would be required for the commercially viable operation of the first-mentioned company if it were assumed that a foundation category 1 digital radio multiplex transmitter licence had been issued to the first-mentioned company at that time; and

 

(f) none of the recipients of an invitation referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) were subject to duress as to whether the invitation should be accepted.

 

Designated BSA radio area

 

A designated BSA radio area means the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (BSA) licence area of a commercial radio broadcasting licence or the BSA licence area of a community radio broadcasting licence, where that BSA licence area is the same as the BSA licence area of a commercial radio broadcasting licence.

 

Section 8AD(3) of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 provides that the ACMA may, by legislative instrument, deem a community radio licence area to be the same as a commercial radio licence area. The effect of this deeming is that the relevant community radio broadcasting licensee becomes eligible to provide digital radio broadcasting services.

 

The ACMA has made the Broadcasting Services (Deemed Digital Radio Licence Areas) Determination 2017. The instrument deems the community radio broadcasting licence area of Canberra RA2 to be the same as Canberra RA1, and the community radio broadcasting licence areas of Darwin RA2 and Darwin RA3 to be the same as Darwin RA1. The instrument also deems the community radio broadcasting licence areas of NSW Community RA1 to be the same as Sydney RA1 and the Victorian Community RA1 to be the same as Melbourne RA1. These two community radio broadcasting licence areas had previously been deemed under the now repealed Broadcasting Services (Deemed Digital Radio Licence Areas) Determination 2007.

 

Fee

 

Pursuant to section 4 of the Radiocommunications (Digital Radio Multiplex Transmitter Licences Application Fee) Determination 2012, a fee of $472 must accompany the licence application. This fee is based upon the estimated cost of processing the application and issuing the licence.

 

Licence conditions

 

A foundation category 1 digital radio multiplex transmitter licensee will be subject to the licence conditions applicable to such licences, including as provided for in the Act, and, in particular, those conditions at sections 109B and 109D of the Act.

 

Licence period

 

A digital radio multiplex transmitter licence remains in force for 15 years.

 

Access undertaking

 

A foundation category 1 digital radio multiplex transmitter licensee will be required to give to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission an access undertaking in accordance with Division 4B of Part 3.3 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 within three months after the issue of the licence.

 

How to apply

 

Applications must be made on form ACMA R058 and be accompanied by the application fee of $472.

Last updated: 06 December 2017