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Apply to vary LPON conditions

This is the business operating procedure for approving variations to low power open narrowcasting (LPON) services. It covers changes to the operating frequency and/or location of these services.

About LPON services

LPON services operate within the FM broadcasting band on the frequencies 87.6 MHz, 87.8 MHz and 88.0 MHz. Licence holders use them for niche content such as tourist information and ethnic and religious programming.

About Low Power Open Narrowcasting explains licence conditions and how we allocate frequencies.

Apply to change the location of an existing LPON site

A license holder can apply to change the transmitter site on their initial licence. They can apply to move it from the place on their licence by up to:

  • 10km in residential areas (1W transmitters)
  • 30km in rural areas (10W transmitters)

You can do this in 1 of 2 ways:

The client needs to pay us for this licence.

For LPON licences issued before the introduction of the current price-based allocation method on 1 March 2001, the original transmitter site is taken as the site specified on the licence at 28 February 2001

The LPON service must also meet the criteria in the LPON Planning Model at the new location.

We do not grant any exemptions from these requirements.

Apply to change the frequency of LPON

You can apply to change LPON frequency. We may allow this if the change fits the LPON planning model.

It is important that a request does not block the establishment of other LPONs in the area.

Example of a scenario we would not allow:

You operate the only LPON service in a small community. It uses frequency 88.0 MHz. If you applied to change the frequency to 87.8 MHz, we could not approve other LPON services. The LPON planning model (Table 3) would block them from using the alternate frequencies of 87.6 MHz or 88.0 MHz.

In this scenario, allowing you to change to frequency 87.8 MHz would go against the Radiocommunications Act. One objective of the Act is to ‘maximise, by ensuring the efficient allocation and use of the spectrum, the overall public benefit derived from using the radiofrequency spectrum’.

We will carefully examine applications for a change of frequency to 87.8 MHz.

Apply to vary your licence after an audit

We audit radiocommunication sites to ensure that radio transmitters are:

  • licensed
  • located at the geographical coordinates on the licence
  • operating in accordance with licence conditions

If we find you are operating an LPON at a site other than that specified on your licence, we will contact you. To continue to operate, you must apply to change the location of the existing LPON.

LPONs in exclusion zones

Exclusion zones protect FM radio services on 88.1 MHz or 88.3 MHz from potential interference from LPON services.

We allow some LPON services to operate in exclusion zones. View the list of services that operate in exclusion zones. These must operate within the specified parameters.

If you have a licence to operate in an exclusion zone, you can apply to change the frequency or location. We consider each application to make changes to these LPONs on a case by case basis.

Advisory notes on LPON licences

Where a license holder applies to move the transmitter, we create an advisory note. This note is printed on the licence to identify the original location of the transmitter.

We also show the original location on the Register of Radiocommunications Licences. This prevents the licensee from asking for a series of moves that add up to more than the 10km or 30km limit.

We add advisory notes to LPON licences when we process relocation requests.

If you need to check the location of the original transmitter, email info@acma.gov.au.

The Business Operating Procedure Disclaimer applies to this process.

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