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Backgound Info: Reservation Of Radio Spectrum

MONDAY 27 SEPTEMBER


BACKGOUND INFORMATION ON RESERVATION OF FM SPECTRUM FOR NATIONAL RADIO AND YOUTH RADIO

Government has always acknowledged that some services may not be provided on a commercial basis, and has reserved spectrum in the past to meet various social policy and cultural objectives.

In December 1998 the Ministry of Commerce invited submissions on the allocation of spectrum in the 101 -108 MHz band. Sixty-four submissions were received, 58 of which sought reservation of spectrum for various “non-commercial” services. Of these proposals, two were national in scope - Youth Radio and National Radio - while the others were more locally based.

Government has decided to reserve spectrum now for the purposes of establishing a national youth radio station and to enable National Radio to broadcast in the FM frequency band.

Government will make decisions on the other submissions received by the Ministry of Commerce when an assessment of those submissions has been completed and preliminary engineering appraisals have occurred.

The National Radio FM proposal will be subject to a satisfactory business case being approved.

With regard to youth radio it is envisaged that three months will be required to determine who will be the successful national Youth Radio network provider. This will involve:

 inviting expressions of interest in providing the service
 assessing expressions of interest against agreed criteria regarding content and viability
and,
 establishing final conditions under which the spectrum licence is held.


Officials from the Ministries for Culture and Heritage and Youth Affairs will assess expressions of interest on the basis of compliance with the following licence conditions:

 the service will be constituted as a separate not-for-profit entity
 it will be self-funding
 it must be funded from sources other than advertising revenue
 the management board must be representative of youth and radio interests
 it must make available to commercial radio, either through simulcasting or delayed broadcasts, any of its programming at no cost
 the format must promote New Zealand music and arts and provide interactive, educational and advisory services, and
 of the music and arts content, a significant proportion must be New Zealand content (Australian content would qualify as New Zealand content in accordance with the CER agreement).

Applicants will be expected to provide a business case, detailing how the service would be operated, and how it would be sustained. This will need to include details on:

 sources of funding for the network
 financial projections over a five year period
 management and governing Board structure
 indicative programme schedules, and
 relevant technical data.

The spectrum will be reserved for a five-year period and the licence will be subject to annual review. Renewal of the licence will be subject to compliance with the agreed licence conditions.


ENDS

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