ACMA releases its draft five-year spectrum outlook

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has laid out its draft plan for the management of Australia’s spectrum – the wireless communications frequencies that carry broadcast signals.

The draft Five-year spectrum outlook 2024–29 contains details on radio broadcast planning priorities, including AM to FM conversions and DAB+ trials:

“We continue with a significant program of radio planning and allocation activities, informed and prioritised by our radio broadcast planning priorities, outlined in our Future delivery of radio report. These include AM to FM conversions and improving the coverage of existing services. We are also supporting trials of new broadcasting technology – in 2023, we licensed multiple trials of small-scale DAB+ technology and past trials have included DAB+, DRM for AM (DRM30) and DRM for FM (DRM+) technologies for radio.

We have expanded the AM–FM conversion program for commercial radio broadcasting services in regional areas to include competitive markets. FM conversion of AM services in regional areas has the potential to improve listener experience and support industry by delivering improved audio quality, reduced signal interference and lower costs for broadcasters. We are continuing to work with commercial AM licensees in solus and competitive regional radio markets to progress their requests for AM–FM conversions.”

ACMA authority member and spectrum lead Adam Suckling said the ACMA was now calling on stakeholders to give their thoughts on the draft plan to help shape the future of Australia’s digital communications over the next five years.

Read the report.

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