Edge Radio gains access to digital radio

Katrina Hughes, 6th December 2019
On 3 December 2019 the Australian Media and Communications Authority (ACMA) announced a deeming determination that will allow Edge Radio to provide a DAB+ digital radio service in Hobart.

CEO of the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA), Jon Bisset, said 

“The CBAA is very pleased that the ACMA has recognised the basis for the inclusion of the RA3 licence area for digital radio in Hobart, and that as a community youth broadcaster Edge Radio will be able to contribute to the diversity of radio services available on the digital broadcasting platform”. 

Under the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (RA), digital radio services are planned in radio licence areas that are identical to commercial radio licence areas. Generally, for a community radio broadcasting licensee to be eligible to provide digital radio services, it must either hold an RA1 Licence for the planned relevant commercial radio licence area, or have its licence area deemed to be the same as the commercial radio licence area.

The ACMA released a Consultation Paper proposing to deem the Hobart RA3 community licence area for the purpose of digital radio outlining the following reasons:

  • It will help ensure the efficient use of the radiofrequency spectrum by maximising the utilisation of multiplex capacity.
  • There is sufficient connection between the community (Hobart RA3) and commercial (Hobart RA1) radio licence areas (via population overlap and relevant community interest of licence).
  • It will help maintain and develop diversity in the Australian broadcasting system in the transition to digital broadcasting.

The Broadcasting Services (Deemed Digital Radio Licence Areas) Amendment Determination 2019 (No. 1) announced by the ACMA deems the Hobart RA3 community radio licence area to be the same as the Hobart RA1 commercial radio licence area for the purpose of digital radio.

Both the CBAA and Edge Radio made submissions to the ACMA consultation to support deeming of the RA3 community broadcasting licence area for digital radio. The Edge submission had strong support from the Hobart community, with support letters from Andrew Wilkie MP, Volunteering Tasmania and Music Tasmania, including:

  • Having worked with Edge Radio over my nine years as a Member of Parliament, I have no doubt that they provide an important and valuable service within the Hobart community. It is essential that the station is in a position to continue to support the youth community, and the broader community, by being included in the digital rollout in Hobart. Andrew Wilkie MP​
  • Edge Radio contributes significantly, not only from a cultural, artistic and community perspective, but also for the 100s volunteer opportunities it provides. These opportunities are invaluable as they assist people with all abilities, from all cultures and backgrounds, gain valuable work experience and feel part of a connected and engaged community. Volunteering Tasmania

The instrument amends the Broadcasting Services (Deemed Digital Radio Licence Areas) Determination 2017. Further information can be found on the ACMA website.

For more information on community digital radio services the CBAA Digital Radio Project can be contacted on 02 9310 2999 or email [email protected]   

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