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Planning principles for AM to FM conversions in regional licence areas - consultation 49/2021

We would like to adopt a set of principles to guide how we plan AM to FM conversions in regional radio licence areas as we expand the current AM to FM conversion program.

Status
Open
Consultation number
IFC 49/2021
Closing in 31 days (18 February 2022)
In progress
  • 1

    Consultation opens

    21 Dec 2021
  • 2

    Consultation closes

    18 Feb 2022

Key documents

The issue

Since 2015, we have been working through a program to convert AM radio transmissions to FM in non-competitive (single licensee or ‘solus’) regional commercial radio licence areas.

We are now opening the program to other regional licence areas so we can deliver the benefits of FM to more regional listeners and broadcasters, as we continue to work on engineering solutions for the remaining non-competitive markets.

The principles are proposed to guide us in our prioritisation of conversion requests and in how we exercise of our power to vary licence area plans to convert AM radio broadcasting transmissions to FM in regional licence areas.

They are also proposed to assist industry to identify eligibility for inclusion in the conversion program.

The planning principles are intended to provide clarity, transparency, and consistency of our approach to the conversion in terms of eligibility, prioritisation, competitive equity, minimising detriment to existing broadcasters, maintaining services, improving quality for listeners, limiting coverage loss and maximising spectrum efficiency.

We expect industry to apply these planning principles, if adopted, to identify which commercial services to convert and to engage consultant engineers to identify frequencies for conversion in line with these principles.

If adopted, these planning principles will replace our current conversion policy.

We intend the planning principles will apply both for commercial radio conversions in the remaining regional non-competitive licence areas and be suitable to apply to regional competitive licence areas.

Have your say

We would like your views on the proposed planning principles or any other issues relevant to AM to FM conversions in regional licence areas.

We welcome comments from interested stakeholders on any of the issues raised in the consultation paper.

Publication of submissions

Read about the ACMA’s policy regarding the publication of submissions.

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