ABA to rule on band deal

INVESTMENT worth up to $800,000, including a brand new FM transmitter, might be just the sweetener needed to convince Curtin Radio to do a deal with local commercial AM radio stations.

A proposal put together by Southern Cross Broadcasting, the licensee of 6PR, and Capital Radio, which owns 6IX, could result in Curtin Radio relinquishing its FM frequency earmarked by the Australian Broadcasting Authority in return for the cost of a new FM transmitter and three years’ maintenance.

Disappointed with the solutions offered for 6IX’s transmission problems by the ABA’s draft licence area plan, Southern Cross Broadcasting and Capital Radio commissioned engineers’ reports to see if there were any additional FM frequencies available.

Curtin Radio station manager Michael Jones said Southern Cross Broadcasting and Capital Radio proposed the station take a 10 kilowatts frequency their engineers had identified, which would free up Curtin Radio’s 16 kilowatts frequency for 6IX.

“In return, they would pay for equipment for conversion to FM and maintain it for three years,” Mr Jones said.

Curtin Radio and 6AR Aboriginal Radio stand to receive investment worth between $300,000 and $400,000 each if the proposal is accepted by the ABA.

“We’ve asked for a formal offer, they’ve done preliminary testing on the 10 kilowatts frequency and there doesn’t appear to be a problem, but we need to investigate further into the frequency they’ve identified,” Mr Jones said.

The frequency Southern Cross Broadcasting and Capital Radio have identified is one of the old Rockingham radio stations, which previously suffered interference problems from Bunbury television when transmitted at 200 watts.

However, Curtin Radio will be trans-mitted at 10 kilowatts, which hopefully will eliminate any interference problems.

“We don’t believe we would have interference with Bunbury TV, but we need to make sure,” Mr Jones said.

“Our goal is to achieved reach from Rockingham to Two Rocks and out to the Escarpment, and get to all those point strongly.

“We are sympathetic with 6IX. They had problems and the ABA didn’t address that very well in the plan.”

Despite Curtin Radio’s interest in the lucrative proposal, the final decision will still lie with the ABA.


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