The Australian Media and Communications Authority is seeking comments on three proposed overarching principles it intends to apply when considering whether to deem a community licence area under subsection 8AD(3) of the BSA. It also welcomes comments on any other issues relevant to licence area deeming for digital radio in regional Australia.
According to a consultation paper, there are three proposed overarching principles ACMA intends to apply when considering whether to deem a community licence area under subsection 8AD(3) of the BSA:
- There is spare capacity on the relevant digital radio multiplex transmitter (within the two-ninth allocation for community radio broadcasting services).
- There is significant correlation between the commercial and community licence areas.
- The community interests represented by the relevant community radio broadcasting licences are relevant to the commercial licence area.
ACMA says it considers principle one to offer a threshold question – if there is no spare capacity on the multiplex, further consideration of whether to deem the community licence area is unlikely to occur.
It also considers that principles two and three would generally be assessed together, so that the level of correlation under principle two and the relevance of the community interests under principle three will cumulatively inform its overall decision.
Applying principles two and three together acknowledges that there is a wide variety of regional markets where particular circumstances will need to be considered carefully.