Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman
Minister of Broadcasting
Hon Steven Joyce
Minister for Communications and Information Technology 

17 June 2010        Media Statement       
Increased Opportunities for Low Power FM Broadcasting

Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Steven Joyce, and the Minister of Broadcasting, Jonathan Coleman, today announced the publication of a new Low Power FM broadcasting General User licence.

The new licence provides for a modest increase in both the number of available frequencies, and the maximum power allowable.  These in turn allow more users, and greater coverage. 

“This extra coverage will be of particular benefit in smaller communities who use the licence to provide local news and community programmes” says Dr Coleman.

The licence allows any person to broadcast a programme of their choice, providing they keep within the parameters of the licence.  Users of the licence are not protected from interference but there is also no charge to use the licence.

The new licence includes some new frequencies and discontinues some existing frequencies, in order to align it with other frequency changes for high power FM broadcasters.

“I am pleased to see that Auckland now has around the same number of frequencies as were previously available elsewhere in New Zealand” says Mr Joyce.

The new licence follows a consultation process that looked at the technical issues resulting from a power increase, including improving the interference protection for aeronautical communications and high power VHF-FM broadcasting.  A key outcome from the consultation is the placement of information on the Radio Spectrum Management website about the interference issues and their avoidance. This information is for the guidance of Low Power broadcasters, who are normally focussed on programme content rather than the technical details.

The new licence comes into force on 17 June 2010.