17 May 2019
Listeners of the commercial radio station 5MU in Murray Bridge, Mount Barker and Victor Harbor may soon be retuning their radios if the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) accepts a proposal by the station to swap from AM to FM transmission.
‘FM radio provides improved audio quality for listeners in regional areas and can be more cost-effective to operate than AM radio,’ said ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin.
‘A number of regional commercial radio stations are seeking to convert their services to FM under an industry-led conversion program,’ said Ms O’Loughlin.
‘The ACMA will facilitate a conversion after taking a number of issues into account. These include availability of suitable spectrum and being satisfied that audiences in regional areas do not lose radio services under that proposal.’
The ACMA is also proposing to plan a new long-term community radio broadcasting service for Mount Barker, which is currently served by temporary community broadcasting services.
‘We now want to hear from the audiences in Murray Bridge, Mount Barker and Victor Harbor about these proposals,’ Ms O’Loughlin said.
Submissions on the proposals are due by 14 June 2019. More information about AM–FM conversion is available here.
If the ACMA decides to approve these conversions, the timing of the FM conversion would be up to the commercial broadcasters.
If the new community service is approved, the ACMA may then proceed to a merit-based allocation of the licence.