The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has accepted a variation to the digital radio access undertakings that set out the terms on which access to the digital radio multiplex transmission service is provided by licensees.
Digital radio is a radio platform that differs from traditional analogue radio services and offers an increased variety of radio programs through a multiplex transmitter. In each of the capital cities that offer digital radio, this multiplex transmission service is only provided by one or two operators (the Licensees).
The ACCC administers the digital radio access regime. Under this regime, each Licensee is required to provide the ACCC with an access undertaking specifying the terms of access to the multiplex transmission service. The ACCC approved the access undertakings in 2009.
The Licensees requested a variation to the access undertakings to, amongst other things, capture the rollout of on-channel repeaters. This rollout is expected to improve service quality and coverage in existing broadcast areas.
The ACCC publicly consulted on the proposed variation and, following the consideration of submissions, determined that the variation is reasonable and did not substantively alter the terms and conditions of access previously approved by the ACCC.
“While the ACCC considers that the digital radio access regime is working effectively, the ACCC encourages ongoing consultation between Licensees and all commercial and community broadcasters in relation to future investments in the service,” ACCC Commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said.
The ACCC’s reasons for the decision are set out in the decision document, ACCC final decision on the request for a variation of the digital radio access undertakings, is available on the ACCC website.