The ACMA is responsible for planning and managing the parts of the radiofrequency spectrum known as the broadcasting services bands. The ACMA aims to increase the range and diversity of broadcasting services and provide audiences with better access to those services. Access to analog radio and television services will continue throughout the roll out of digital services.
There can be no more than three commercial television licences in a market until after a date yet to be specified by government proclamation, but no such limit applies to the allocation of new commercial or community radio licences. New commercial broadcasting services are allocated by a price-based system, while community licences are allocated on a merit-based system.
A person wishing to use cable, satellite or any other method to provide a broadcasting service using non-broadcasting services band spectrum may obtain a service licence by applying to the ACMA. Licences for transmission of such services are then obtained from the ACMA, or an appropriate cable or satellite provider.
The ACMA has determined a class licence for subscription radio broadcasting, subscription radio or television narrowcasting and open radio or television narrowcasting. A person or company intending to provide any such service can commence operations straight away, although they must comply with the conditions of their particular class licence.