Guidance booklet for open narrowcasters

The ABA has released a package to give guidance to open narrowcasters after a recent review of Narrowcast licence regulations. The measures are designed to help service providers “better understand the conditions under which they provide their services and to clarify the differences between narrowcasting and commercial broadcasting services.”

The package of measures comprises an information booklet which can be found at the ABA website (see link below) that clarifies aspects of the statutory criteria for open narrowcasting services. Other supporting documents are also available in the package.

The additional conditions will be included in the class licence for open narrowcasting radio services under the Broadcasting Services (Additional Conditions-Open Narrowcasting Radio Services) Notice 2002.

ABA Chairman David Flint told radioinfo: “Narrowcasters offer a range of diverse broadcasting services which are not provided by the commercial broadcasting sector… It is in the interests of everyone, both in the broader community and in the radio industry more specifically, to have as much information as possible about narrowcasting services and the conditions under which they operate. This package of measures will result in significantly more information about open narrowcasting services being generally available than has previously been the case.”

The package was prepared after an extensive period of consultation with all industry sectors and comes after earlier confusion about what would be allowed to be categorised as ‘narrowcast.’ The issue came into focus for the ABA last year when Sydney Open Narrowcast licences generated a great deal of interest from people with many different ideas about what would be allowed as a ‘narrowcast’ format.