FM Spectrum Replan - General Discussion

Does anyone else get the feeling we are NOT going to see any further restacks for other cities (that really need it like the wider Sydney and Brisbane regions) in that this appears to be ALL about the AM propagation issues that are more problematic in Perth?

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You’re probably right. They did have a Brisbane/SEQ review planned for last year but it kept getting delayed. Then they withdrew it altogether saying it was too hard/they didn’t have the resources. At the time they said they were only doing Perth and possibly Adelaide. Both are much easier with less overspill than SEQ or the Sydney region.

It’s pretty weak in my opinion to put Brisbane and Sydney and presumably Melbourne in the too hard basket. Particularly Brisbane with 2.5 million people and only 4 commercial FM stations - it’s a joke.

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B105, MMM, Nova and 97.3 i think?

if thats it, is it any wonder people are switching to DAB or spotify? theres not much choice there

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That’s it. Terrible lack of choice for a city that size. The only saving grace is 4KQ on AM/DAB. Hardly surprising it rates so well alongside the FMs.

Also there’s a good overspill from neighbouring River 94.9, Rebel FM and Breeze.

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It wouldn’t be so bad if they ran quality locally produced live programs that engaged with their audiences for the majority of the day. But nope, quite the opposite in most cases.

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If there was ever an FM conversion in Adelaide, which I doubt will happen - but if it does, then Nova would kill 5AA and launch Smooth.

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Probably not likely to happen in the foreseeable future on the East Coast, with FM band pretty much full in/around Australia’s three most populated metropolitan areas.

That said if it were at all possible, it’d be good to hear 2UE (if only the same could still be said about 2CH) in FM stereo…

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that’s true there probably aren’t any spare slots for high-powered FM services in Melbourne.

They would may to scale back the reception coverage of the suburban community stations (ie reuse the frequencies and limit reception to the local area only).
Not sure if they did the massive task of restacking can they fit every local community station as well as all the AM stations on FM in Sydney ? if they start to use odd and evens do this for example SWR 99.9, Triple H 100.0, 2MCR 100.1 etc. For the commercials for example make 2day 104.1 , Star FM Central Coast 104.3 FM Triple M (Sydney) 104.5 , New FM 104.7 FM., Triple J 104.9 FM etc. With Digital tuning radios these days being so close to each other on the dial should work?

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Can’t imagine that being overly popular with the suburban community stations or those who listen to them.

You’ve got to keep in mind that the Sydney metro area is the kind of place where people would spend a not insignificant amount of time listening to the radio in their cars, for some (imagine travelling to the Sydney CBD from Campbelltown or Penrith for example) this means crossing in and out of a number of suburban community radio listening areas during a single journey.

SWR FM and other such stations would probably lose a fair few listeners if people couldn’t receive them in their cars across a decent chunk of the metro area, I think.

Can’t imagine any of the commercial stations (many of which have been on their current frequency for 30-40 years willing to give up their current frequencies, even if it’s only a move of 0.2/0.4mHz.

The ABC and SBS might have less issues when it comes to moving around the dial since their Sydney FM frequencies of 92.9, 97.7 & 105.7 aren’t advertised that much, but even so I’d imagine they’d also prefer to remain where they are.

Unless/until the reception of 702/873 and 693/774 in their respective markets becomes so incredibly dire that it actually starts to have an effect on the ratings, I think the status quo will remain in Sydney & Melbourne.

It’s probably a bigger priority to restack the FM band and convert AM stations in Perth, Adelaide and (if technically possible) Brisbane, markets where there seems to be a stronger preference for music stations.

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They can’t, the only way all Am stations can convert to fm in Sydney is to cancel all the fm licence of the suburban community stations, allocate more dab+ capacity and allow them to broadcast on dab+ only.

Here is my restack of the Fm band in Sydney to allow all Am stations to convert to fm from Artarmon / Gore Hill.
87.5-SEN / Track combined
88.1- RN
88.9 - News Radio
89.7- ABC Local Radio Sydney
90.5- 2GB
91.3- C91.3
92.1- 2MFM
92.9- Classic Fm
93.7-Kori
94.5-FBI
95.3-Smooth
96.1-Edge
96.9-Nova
97.7-SBS
98.5-2000
99.3-2UE
100.1-Sky Sports
100.5- 2RPH Kings Cross???
100.9- 2SM
101.7-WS fm
102.5- 2MBS
103.3-Hope
104.1-2day
104.9-Triple M
105.7-Triple J
106.5-KIIS
107.3- 2SER
Sydney would retain all 7 Sydney wide community license, but all suburban community stations would have to be cleared off the fm band for all am to fm conversions.

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Though the use of 88.1, 88.9, 89.7 and 90.5 at high power may cause issues for stations at Burraga, Braidwood, Lithgow and Belmont North respectively. And LPONs on 88.0 and 87.8.

Yeah the only solution would be give them a DAB channel Sydney wide. However then what is the point, they are not licensed to be Sydney Wide.

Maybe a low power DAB solution where the existing community towers can be DAB towers(instead of FM) . So Northern Sydney (say Northside / HHH ) can share a freq, Western Sydney can have another (say SWR / Alive / WOW), Southern Side (Liverpool / Campbelltown/ Bankstown/Sutherland/Eastside) etc. I think the reality is @Ant5476 post if we are “forced” to shutdown AM radio but it is not a perfect answer to @Radiohead point.

That would be the only way to do it in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. I can’t see this happening, as no-one including CRA, ABC and CBAA would support it. I think it would be opposed by most of the radio industry.

Anyway DAB+ is adequate for listening in stereo to the AM music stations.

Personally I think all the suburban community stations should be available Sydney-wide via DAB+ (especially since we’ve already got Eastside Radio on one of the multiplexes), under the condition they remain committed to their individual local areas.

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yeah I would not complain! But not at 32K. They should be allocated 64 K. Ideally if they could get their own channel for all community stations (including Sydney Wide ones).

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ACMA would need to license small-scale DAB+ multiplexes for this to happen.

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I couldn’t identify frequencies - but I think they should consider allocating licenses that have to have multiple frequencies in different parts, or just simply not having the exact same power levels as the other frequencies.

I certainly get the impression in Melbourne there’s enough space between 96 and 100MHz to fit some more stations - especially if you reduced the excessive coverage the sub-metro community stations achieve.

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Plus High Powered 99.3, 100.1 and 100.9 may cause problems to Bathurst as well. Not sure about how if Sydney stations are receivable around that area or not.

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High powered Sydney stations would cause interference to the Bathurst stations at the eastern fringes. Sydney is received quite well on the car radio at Yetholme . Basically a restack of Sydney would require restacks to Bathurst, e.g Brock moving to 99.1 and the others to 99.9, and 100.7 inline with the National services from Mount Panarama.

I am sure it will mostly likely cause restacks in other markets too, if the Am band is shut down Australia wide and all frequencies reserved for DRM.

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