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Retransmit TV channels

As a self-help provider, you can retransmit TV programs where the TV signals sent by towers are weak or there is no TV tower. 

Self-help providers are usually local councils, mining companies, or local community organisations in remote and regional Australia. All self-help providers apply to us for an apparatus licence before they can retransmit TV programs.

TV program content

You can retransmit TV programs from national (ABC and SBS) or commercial TV stations.

You will retransmit:

  • all TV channels or only those TV channels you can not receive
  • service information including electronic program guides, channel numbers, and closed captioning

Self-help providers are exempt from copyright obligations under the Copyright Act 1968.

As long as you only retransmit programs from a national or commercial TV station you are not regulated by the Broadcasting Services Act 1992.

Set up TV retransmission for your area

Follow these steps to retransmit TV channels into your area:

Step 1: apply to us for an apparatus licence

We issue the apparatus licence to authorise the transmitters you need to retransmit the TV programs.

Step 2: install a transmission tower

You need the correct permissions to build or install a transmission tower. Contact your local council.

Step 3: access TV programs

You may access TV programs to retransmit via your own antenna from the VAST satellite feed. If you need to use VAST and are in central and eastern Australia contact the Eastern Australia Satellite Broadcasters (EASB) at email: easb.admin@sca.com.au. If you are in Western Australia contact WA Satco at email: wasatco@winnetwork.com.au.

Costs

There are costs to you to retransmit TV programs. If your application is successful you will pay an apparatus licence fee.

You may also have ongoing equipment maintenance costs. Your decoding equipment attached to your transmission tower will receive signal from the VAST satellite feed. VAST can change its settings and your equipment may not retune itself. You will then need to retune or make other adjustments to your equipment.

Apply for an apparatus licence

To apply for an apparatus licence complete Application for digital television retransmission apparatus licence(s) in the Broadcasting Services Bands Form B84 and send it to us. Provide the information below on your form:

  • If you will provide all or some of the available national (ABS and SBS) and commercial television services in your licence area. You may intend to only retransmit one or some television channels. The other channels may already be available in your area.
  • If you will provide the same high definition or standard definition as the TV channel you are retransmitting.
  • If the TV service information will be the same as the information used by the TV channel you are retransmitting.

We may also ask you to provide other information relevant to your situation and area.

Apply out of licence area

You may wish to retransmit TV programs from a neighbouring town which is outside your licence area

Complete Application for digital television retransmission apparatus licence(s) in the Broadcasting Services Bands Form B84 and send it to us. Provide the information below on your form:

  • Any impact the retransmission would have on the in-area TV channels.
  • The shared interests between your area and the neighbouring area.
  • The technical and cost feasibility of providing commercial TV services to your area compared to the cost of this retransmission proposal.

Contact details

Send your completed Form B84 by fax, email or mail to us:

Broadcast Carriage Policy Section

Australian Communications and Media Authority

PO Box 78

BELCONNEN ACT 2616

Fax: (02) 6219 5347

Phone: 1300 850 115

Email: BCP@acma.gov.au

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