The Australian Communications and Media Authority has informed Digital Broadcasters Vendor News that it has embargoed a range of spectrum frequencies that could be appropriate for use by "Digital Radio Mondiale" (DRM), the digital radio transmission standard.
The frequency bands in question are: 5950–6200, 7100–7300, 9500–9900, 11650–12050, 13600–13800, 15100–15600, 17550–17900, 21450–21850 and 25670–26100 kHz.
It is intended that no new frequency assignments in these bands will be authorised except in certain circumstances.
The ACMA says these bands are not normally part of the current broadcasting spectrum.
Digital Radio Mondiale is currently part of the terrestrial digital radio trials taking place in Sydney.
Giles Tanner, General Manager of ACMA’s Inputs to Industry Division made the point that ACMA intends to plan for the introduction of Digital Radio Mondiale but is also aware that international arrangements are still evolving and that Australia is influenced by these arrangements.
ACMA wants to see a structured introduction of Digital Radio Mondiale where the benefits are to the listening public through a fair sharing of the frequencies rather than second guess where internationally agreed frequency allocation for Australia is going and changes have to take place later if DRM introduced too soon.
In any event, the ACMA is calling for applications from any organisation that wishes to trial the frequencies listed above to check their performance in the Australian environment.