Atherton licence area amendment, Mossman/Port Douglas
This has proceeded to date without any mention of the three industry publications nor discussion groups such as this:
Sole submission received:
In a nutshell, Cairns and Atherton licence areas overlap around Mossman.
4AM (Coastal Broadcasters, headquartered at 4KZ, led by Al Kirton) have applied for an FM infill as the long running AM 1422 service does not have good night time coverage to Mossman from its Port Douglas site.
ACMA agree with this AM coverage deficiency.
Where the regulator and licensee disagree is over the site for the FM translator.
ACMA’s paper publishes concerns that adding another transmitter site within the town would interfere with existing signals.
ACMA propose a Crown Castle site (obviously costly).
Coastal Broadcasters have cited unviable cap ex and op ex at the Crown Castle site, an example of a community station operating trouble free within their licence area on the Tableland from an in town site and are happy for less power. They’re clearly interested in just town coverage.
No other submissions received, other licensees have seen ACMA’s proposal, knew it was unviable and not bothered to make a submission.
The other part to the proposal is that the AM 1422 site is that one of the masts have failed so it runs OD instead of DA. It’s had successive owners and investment would be at a minimum.
No comment from ACMA about efficient use of spectrum in introducing an additional translator, no alternative for FM infills to replace the AM 1422 translator altogether. A departure from their usual lines in more congested markets.
This is an interesting situation as the licence area has been established along historical lines, prior to the Port Douglas and general tourism explosion.
Mossman and Port locals would’ve wanted a station they could viably advertise on without paying Cairns rates. 4AM had the foresight to establish a translator there yet over the years, when licence areas were finalised, Cairns scooped it up as well, entitling Cairns signals on translators there.