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Licence area plans (LAPs)

Licence area plans (LAPs) state how licence holders can use broadcasting services bands. They are legal instruments.

Find a licence area plan

To find a LAP, search the Federal Register of Legislation. This register contains all current and past versions.

Key features of LAPs

Each LAP contains many details and technical specifications. 

The determination and its schedules set out:

  • the geographic area, based on census data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • what types of services are planned in that area
  • how many broadcasting services can operate in the area

The technical specifications for the LAP are detailed. They apply to existing and proposed services. We aim to make them flexible, within certain limits for transmitters.

The specifications include:

  • the unique service licence number (commercial and community services only)
  • the unique transmitter specification number for the services, whether existing or proposed
  • the location of the transmitter site
  • the broadcasting services band and assigned frequency
  • the direction of the transmitted signal (signal polarisation)
  • the maximum height of the transmitting antenna
  • radiation patterns that show the direction and level of emissions

Check the LAP before you provide services

If you have a licence to provide services or are planning to provide them, you must be aware of the technical rules. Read and follow the:

For help on the technical guidelines, see About the Technical Planning Guidelines.

Once we create a LAP, your service must meet its technical specifications. These are not negotiable after we finalise a LAP but you may be able to vary the site of the transmitter.

Check you can use the transmitter site

Even if you have a broadcasting licence, you still need to ensure:

  • a transmitter site is available
  • the owner of the land approves

As a licence holder you must make sure:

  • you have approvals from all appropriate levels of government to build and operate the facility that houses the transmitter including any necessary environmental approvals
  • air transport is safe from your equipment or you have clearance from the air navigation safety authorities
  • any other broadcasters agree to share broadcasting facilities

There is some flexibility in where you place a transmitter. It can be away from the nominal site if you meet all the rules in the LAP and technical planning guidelines.

How we develop LAPs

We develop LAPs for:

  • national, commercial, community and most high-powered open narrowcast radio
  • VHF and UHF television

When we plan services in a broadcasting services band, we consult widely. At the end of the planning process we prepare a licence area plan. The plans are a blueprint for the development of all free-to-air broadcasting in that area.

Opportunities to provide feedback on a LAP are at open consultations.

The Broadcasting Services Act 1992 subsection 26(1) gives us the authority to create LAPs.

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