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Broadcasting transmitter (apparatus) licences

TV broadcasters need a transmitter licence to operate. If we allocate a broadcasting service licence, you have the right to a transmitter licence.

What a broadcasting licence is for

A broadcasting licence lets you:

  • operate transmitters to broadcast TV or radio programs
  • test stations that plan to broadcast TV or radio programs

Broadcasting licences do not cover services that:

  1. only provide data or text (including teletext), with or without images
  2. make a program available on demand on a point to point basis (includes dial up services)
  3. the Minister determines is not a broadcasting service under the BSA. This information is published in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette

There are 6 options for broadcasting apparatus licences:

  • Broadcast service. Authorises transmissions by a holder of a national, commercial or community broadcasting licence under the Broadcasting Services Act.
  • HF domestic service. Authorises broadcasting transmissions in the frequency range 2.3 MHz to 26.1 MHz. Provides a service within Australia or its territories.
  • HF overseas IBL service. Authorises broadcasting transmissions in the frequency range 5.9 MHz to 26.1 MHz. Provides an international broadcasting service within the meaning of section 18A of the Broadcasting Services Act.
  • HF overseas service. Authorises broadcasting transmissions in the frequency range 5.9 MHz to 26.1 MHz. Provides a broadcasting service targeted to audiences outside Australia and its territories.
  • Narrowband area service. Authorises one-way radio transmission to at least 4 narrowband area receivers. Uses an occupied bandwidth of 4 MHz or less and is not operated in the broadcasting services band.
  • Open narrowcasting service:

Where you can broadcast

If you have a broadcasting licence, you can operate in the broadcasting services bands.

Sometimes you can operate outside of these bands. We make these decisions on an individual basis.

Broadcasting services bands 

AM radio

526.5 to 1606.5 kHz (inclusive)

FM radio

87.5 to 108 MHz (inclusive)

VHF television channel 0

45 to 52 MHz (inclusive)

VHF television channels 1 and 2

56 to 70 MHz (inclusive)

VHF television channel 3

85 to 92 MHz (inclusive)

VHF television channels 4 and 5

94 to 108 MHz (inclusive)

VHF television channel 5A

137 to 144 MHz (inclusive)

VHF television channels 6 to 12

174 to 230 MHz (inclusive)

UHF television channels 27 to 51

520 to 694 MHz (inclusive)

Licence conditions

When you have a broadcasting licence, you must follow the conditions of your licence.

These include:

These conditions help you communicate safely and without interference.

We will include information you should be aware of under the heading 'advisory notes'.

Call signs

Call signs are a unique series of letters and numbers. They make it easy to identify a station.

We will give you a call sign or explain how to create one when we give you a licence.

You should use your call sign:

  • every time you start to transmit
  • before you transmit in a series
  • when you test


Licence fees depend on where and how you will broadcast.

See what licence fee applies to you in the apparatus licence fee schedule.

Find out if you can get a licence fee exemption or concession.

Apply for a broadcasting licence

To apply for a broadcasting licence, you can complete an application for apparatus licence in the broadcasting services bands

When you have completed the form, email it to us.

For certain types of broadcasting licences options (narrowband area service, open narrowcasting service (LPON) and the 3 HF options) you should contact an accredited person.

They can:

  • assign you a frequency
  • give you a frequency assignment certificate
  • apply for your licence for you

Transfer a broadcasting licence

You can apply to:

Questions about broadcasting

Broadcast Australia has information about national broadcasting services.

You should contact the ABC or SBS if you have questions about national radio or TV programs.

You might also be interested in:

Or you can contact us.

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