Spectrum for broadcasting

Spectrum digital radio

Proposed digital radio channel plans

Consultation closes: 13 February 2017

IFC: 38/2016 console jpg

Online consultation


A total of 13 submissions were received in response to the consultation package. Submissions were received from a range of stakeholders in the radio broadcasting sector, as well as a member of the public. These submissions reflect the differing interests of stakeholders, which the ACMA must balance in the planning process for the expansion of digital radio into regional Australia. Overall, the submissions were supportive of the ACMA’s proposal to make the digital radio channel plan for Northern Territory and the variations to the digital radio channel plans for ACT/NSW and Tasmania. The variation to the Queensland digital radio channel plan instrument has been deferred until the ACMA can further consider submissions about the proposed Gold Coast DRCP and the variation to the Brisbane DRCP.



The ACMA has received 13 submissions to this consultation. To view submissions, select 'Other submissions received' from the right hand index, and then select 'View all submissions'.


Closing date extension

After a number of requests to extend the initial submission deadline of 6 February 2017, the ACMA extended the consultation period to COB 13 February 2017.


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Consultation paper: 


Proposed digital radio channel plan for Northern Territory and proposal to vary the digital radio channel plans for NSW/ACT, Queensland and Tasmania

382 KB

Proposed draft instruments:


Radiocommunications (Digital Radio Channels – Northern Territory) Plan 2017 

67 KB

Radiocommunications (Digital Radio Channels – NSW/ACT) Plan Variation 2017 (No. 1)

78 KB 

Radiocommunications (Digital Radio Channels – Queensland) Plan Variation 2017 (No. 1)

72 KB

Radiocommunications (Digital Radio Channels – Tasmania) Plan Variation 2017 (No. 1)

65 KB 

Radiocommunications (Foundation Category 1 Digital Radio Multiplex Transmitter Licences) Declaration 2017

63 KB

Proposed new digital radio channel plans for Darwin and Canberra and proposal to vary the digital radio channel plans for Brisbane, Hobart and Sydney

The ACMA is seeking public comment on a proposal to make: 

The accompanying consultation paper provides background on the proposal to make the draft instruments. Please refer to the ‘Downloads’ table above for the consultation paper and draft instruments.


The rollout of digital radio services commenced in the five major metropolitan capital cites (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide) in 2009. The ACMA has also previously authorised trials, of digital radio broadcasting in Canberra and Darwin since 2010.

Since 2015, the ACMA has been working closely with the radio industry to plan for the rollout of digital radio to regional areas of Australia. Read more about the rollout of digital services in regional Australia.

The Digital Radio Planning Committee (the committee), comprising radio industry and government representatives (chaired by the ACMA), has developed a set of planning principles to be applied in establishing digital radio services in regional Australia. The ACMA has now adopted these planning principles for the technical planning and licensing digital radio services in regional areas of Australia.

The committee identified as a priority the publication of formal digital radio channel plans for the Canberra, Darwin, Hobart and Gold Coast digital radio services. These four regional market have been selected because:

  • Canberra and Darwin both have longstanding trial digital radio multiplex services that could be readily converted to digital radio multiplex transmitter (DRMT) licensed permanent services. The regularisation of the trial digital radio multiplex services will provide certainty of the continuation of these digital radio services for their existing audiences.
  • The rollout of digital radio multiplex services in Hobart—along with Canberra and Darwin—will complete the expansion of digital radio services into all state and territory capital cities in Australia. The Gold Coast has been prioritised by the commercial radio industry as a ‘first-mover’ (initial) regional market for digital radio services.

Once the digital radio channel plans are made by the ACMA, the licensing of digital radio services may commence. Information about the legislative and regulatory framework for digital radio planning is available at Appendix A of the consultation paper.

Issue for comment

Opportunity to provide feedback

The ACMA welcomes comment from interested stakeholders on the issues raised in this consultation or any other issues relevant to the proposed digital radio channel plans.

How to submit

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