The Australian Communications and Media Authority is proposing to increase the availability of the 2RPH community radio service in NSW.

ACMA is proposing to make two medium power FM frequencies available for 2RPH, one each at Newcastle and Wollongong plus an additional FM low power in-fill frequency at Kings Cross in Sydney. 2RPH already broadcasts on a high power AM frequency in Sydney (1224 kHz).

‘In proposing the changes, ACMA recognises the special nature of the community service provided by 2RPH to a wide range of people who are not able to access normal printed material,’ said Giles Tanner, General Manager of ACMA’s Inputs to Industry Division. ‘In this respect RPH is different to geographically-based community radio services.’

In developing its proposal, ACMA has had regard to the fact that it would reduce the availability of spectrum for special event broadcasting in Sydney and Newcastle. ACMA’s preliminary view is that this disadvantage is outweighed by the benefit of the spectrum being made available for the extension of 2RPH’s service. However, those involved in special events broadcasting are invited to make submissions on this aspect of the draft variation.

ACMA is also aware that there might be other demand for the spectrum that is proposed to be made available for 2RPH in the draft licence area plan variation. In particular, it would like to hear from any aspirant broadcaster that may be interested in providing a low powered local coverage service in Sydney using 100.5 MHz. An explanatory paper discusses the limitations associated with the use of this spectrum.

The proposal follows a submission from Radio for the Print Handicapped of NSW Co-operative Ltd, the licensee of 2RPH.