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NCA REVOKES LICENCES FOR DEFAULTING RADIO GOLD, XYZ

General News

The National Communications Authority yesterday shut down some radio and television stations operating without valid authorisation.

The National Communications Authority yesterday shut down some radio and television stations operating without valid authorisation.

 

The Authority said it had had to shut down Radio Gold and Radio XYZ because both broadcasters had defaulted in renewing their authorisations.

The director general of the NCA, Joe Anokye, explained at a press briefing that in the case of Radio Gold it had been operating for 19 years even though its licence had expired. XYZ’s licence similarly expired in 2016.

The NCA shut down both entities yesterday afternoon, in an enforcement action to comply with the ruling of the Electronic Communications Tribunal (ECT).

Legal action

The exercise was also carried out to enforce the Tribunal’s ruling against illegal spectrum users.

Mr Anokye said following the FM Spectrum Audit in 2017, some stations were found to be in default and were fined by the Authority.

However, some of the stations in default were not satisfied and proceeded to the Electronic Communications Tribunal (ECT) and the high court to appeal against the NCA’s decision.

Mr Anokye said this resulted in an ECT decision in 2018 which reviewed the status of expired FM radio broadcasting authorisations. It ruled among other things that companies whose authorisation had expired revert to the same position as a fresh applicant.

Some stations shut down voluntarily after this decision; others did not.

Mandate

The NCA said in line with Regulation 65 (1) of the Electronic Communications Regulations 2011 (LI 1991), which states, “A person shall not use a radio frequency without authorisation from the Authority,” it decided to shut down the stations.

By way of clarification, the Authority said that, as ruled by the ECT, submission of renewal applications after expiry of authorisation is not a valid application, and therefore the Authority would not consider any submission made in this way.

It cautioned that while companies affected by the shutdown may submit fresh applications to the Authority if they so wish, their applications will go through the required procedure for new FM broadcasting authorisation and the outcome will be communicated to the applicants.

Frequency clear

According to the NCA, “Entities are only authorised to use frequencies for a specific duration or period. Frequencies are national assets and not the properties of users as they are not assigned to users in perpetuity.”

To this end, it encouraged all licensed and authorised holders to ensure compliance with the various terms of their licences and authorisations, as well as the relevant regulations.