acmaThe Australian Communications and Media Authority will make new FM frequencies available to commercial radio broadcasting services 7LA and 7EX in Launceston to improve reception in the central business district.

The ACMA has also decided to make a new high power open narrowcasting radio service available in Launceston, to operate on 1008 kHz on the AM band.

‘The new open narrowcasting service will be the first for the Launceston market and has the potential to play a major role in promoting diversity in programming for radio listeners in the area,’ said Chris Cheah, Acting Chair of the ACMA.

The ACMA will use a price-based allocation system to allocate the licence to provide the open narrowcasting service.

The new FM frequencies are for translator services for 7LA and 7EX to ‘infill’ where the coverage from the main transmitter is restricted and suffers multipath reception due to terrain obstruction. 7EX will be available on 100.3 MHz and 7LA on 101.1 MHz.

In early 2008 commercial broadcasters 7LA and 7EX switched from AM to FM services. It became apparent after this switchover that there were problems with the reception of the new FM services in the Launceston CBD. The additional FM translator frequencies will rectify these reception deficiencies.

The ACMA also considered whether to make available another frequency for community radio broadcasting but was not satisfied that an additional community radio service in the Launceston market would add substantially to the diversity of programs available in the Launceston region at this time.

These changes were made following consultation by the ACMA in the Launceston market.