The Australian Communications and Media Authority is proposing to make new FM frequencies available to 7EX and 7LA to improve service reception in the Launceston city area. The ACMA is also proposing to make an AM frequency available for a high power open narrowcasting service at Launceston.

These proposed changes are contained in a draft variation to the Launceston radio licence area plan released today for public comment.

‘The ACMA’s proposed variation follows consideration of the requests from licensees for improvement to reception in Launceston city,’ said Chris Chapman, Chairman of the ACMA.

‘Terrain obstruction is affecting the reception of the 7EX and 7LA services in Launceston city.’

The FM translator services are proposed for use as an ‘infill’ where the coverage from the main transmitter is restricted and suffers multipath reception.

Two companies have expressed their interest in providing a narrowcasting service and one person has previously expressed an interest in providing a community broadcasting service in Launceston.

‘There are currently no open narrowcasting services available in Launceston and the ACMA is of the view that narrowcasting services play a major role in promoting diversity’, said Mr Chapman.

In developing the proposed changes, the ACMA has considered the criteria set out in Part 3 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992. As a result of those considerations, the ACMA is also proposing to make the vacant AM frequency, 1008 kHz, available for narrowcasting purposes in Launceston. The ACMA is not proposing to make any frequencies available for additional community radio services as part of this variation.

However, the ACMA will consider comments received from the public in relation to the proposed changes to radio services in Launceston before reaching a final view. Details of the proposal are contained in the explanatory paper and draft variation to the Launceston radio licence area plan. These documents are available from the ACMA website or by calling 1300 850 115