Backgound Information On Reservation Of FM Spectrum For National Radio And Youth Radio

  • Marie Hasler
Cultural Affairs

<p>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. </p>

<p>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.
<p>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. </p>

<p>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. </p>

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

<p>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: </p>

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

<p>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: </p>

<li>the service will be constituted as a separate not-for-profit entity</li>
<li>it will be self-funding</li>
<li>it must be funded from sources other than advertising revenue</li>
<li>the management board must be representative of youth and radio interests</li>
<li>it must make available to commercial radio, either through simulcasting or delayed broadcasts, any of its programming at no cost</li>
<li>the format must promote New Zealand music and arts and provide interactive, educational and advisory services, and</li>
<li>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).</li>

<p>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:
<li>sources of funding for the network</li>
<li>financial projections over a five year period</li>
<li>management and governing Board structure</li>
<li>indicative programme schedules, and</li>
<li>relevant technical data.</li>
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.