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Auction summary - 87−88 MHz - low power open narrowcasting licences (2001)

Quick summary

Since 1 March 2001, the former Australian Communication Authority (ACA) was required to issue transmitter licences for LPON services in the 87.5–88.0 MHz FM sub-band by way of a price-based allocation process, as directed by the minister under directions to the Australian Communications Authority No. 3 of 2000. The ACMA continues to follow these directions in allocating LPON licences.

LPON transmitter licences allow for the provision of niche radio broadcasting services, such as tourist and racing information, or language and religious programming. They operate at very low power outputs and are limited to frequencies that are not required for high-power broadcasting services.


1st allocation is completed and allocation is ongoing

Auction date—main auction

December 2001

Amount raised—main auction $9,000 (from initial four rounds in 2001)

Auction date—residual auctions

From January to June 2001

Amount raised—residual auctions


Licence expiry

Varies—apparatus licences were issued for periods of up to five years with the possibility of renewal.


Refer to the LPON Planning Model for more information. A spatial representation of the FM radio protection zones is available as a Google Earth placemark (zipped KMZ file).

It is important that prospective applicants are aware of the limitations applying to LPONs listed in the table below.

Where there is only one applicant, the ACMA will offer the applicant the opportunity to acquire a licence for its reserve price. Where there is more than one applicant, the ACMA will hold an open-outcry auction to allocate lots. An applicant may bid only on a lot that has been nominated by that applicant and determined under the ACMA's Planning Model for LPON Services.

The reserve prices have been set at:

  • $2,000 for High Density Geographic Locations
  • $1,000 for Medium Density Geographic Locations
  • $250 for Low Density Geographic Locations

The geographic locations of spectrum density areas are defined in the Apparatus Licence Fees Schedule.

Allocation results from current and previous residual rounds.

Spectrum details

Band details

Three low powered open narrowcasting channels (LPON) from the 87.5–88.0 MHz band (87.6, 87.8 and 88.0 MHz)

Licence type

Apparatus licences

Previous use


Licence period

Important note: The frequency band (87.5–88.0 MHz) for LPON services is made available under section 34 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992. The ACMA has made this band available until 31 December 2020; the ACMA cannot issue a licence for an LPON service using this band past this date.

Allocation details

Type of allocation

Price-based allocation of apparatus licences under section 106 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992

Method of sale

The lots were sold by open-outcry auction. However an auction was not necessary when no more than one application was received per lot.

Competition limits

Nil. However, roll-out conditions were applied to apparatus licences issued that required a service to be commenced within six months.

Allocation information

Note: This above application information pack was only used for the 2001 LPON Auction. Please DO NOT use this for new LPON licence applications. For the current up-to-date LPON information, including application forms, please go to the low power open narrowcasting licences page.
Technical information LPON Licence Limitations
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