Ghana Has Exhausted its FM Spectrums
Ghana has exhausted its Frequency Modulation (FM) Spectrums. To this end, the National Communications Authority (NCA) is not in a position to allocate new FM spectrums until further notice.
The NCA has accordingly suspended the receipt of new applications for FM broadcasting authorisation.
“The general public will be informed when the suspension is lifted,” a public notice, dated October 3, 2017, posted on the website of the NCA said.
The NCA has so far given frequency authorisations to 505 FM radio broadcasting stations across the country.
Out of the number, 392 stations were operational as of June 30, 2017.
They included 31 public radio stations, five public (foreign) radio stations, 81 community radio stations, 22 campus radio stations and 366 commercial radio stations.
Explaining issues further to the Daily Graphic in an interview in Accra on Monday, the Director of Consumer and Corporate Affairs of the NCA, Nana Defie Badu, said the NCA had completed an audit of radio stations in the country.
She said that was why it came out with the list of defaulting stations after giving them 30 days notice and additional notices in June and July this year.
Nana Defie added that the NCA sanctioned the defaulting radio stations after the 30 days notice.
With respect to television stations, she said, the NCA was still in the process of auditing such stations and internet service providers.
“The report on television stations will be ready before the end of the year. The team is working round the clock to file the report,” Nana Defie said.
The NCA has sanctioned 131 radio stations for violating certain aspects of the Electronics Communications Act (2009), Act 775.
The stations include Accra-based Radio Gold, Atlantis Radio, Radio XYZ, Atinka FM and Vision 1 FM.
A further 13 FM authorisation holders have also been issued with reprieves as pertains to their authorisations.
Thirty-four radio stations have had their authorisations revoked completely for failing to renew their licences after they expired over several years.
They include Kapital Radio of Kumasi, which had been in existence for about 20 years. The licences of other stations such as Hello FM also in Kumasi and Montie FM in Accra have also been revoked.
The sanctions follow the completion of a nationwide FM spectrum audit conducted this year to determine the compliance of authorisation holders with their authorisation conditions and to determine which FM stations were in operation or otherwise, a statement released by the NCA last Thursday said.
Fines totalling GH¢1.1 billion had been imposed on the offending stations.
Of the notable stations, Radio XYZ has been fined GH¢4,090,000, Atinka FM, GH¢14,800,000 while Radio Gold and Atlantis Radio picked up the heftiest fines of GH¢61,330,000 and GH¢60,350,000 respectively.