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NCA holds sensitisation workshop for Broadcasting Authorisations holders

The National Communications Authority (NCA) is holding sensitization workshops to educate successful applicants for FM Radio Broadcasting Authorisations on the legal, regulatory, and technical requirements and obligations.

The workshops which started on Thursday, October 21, will end on Friday, October 22, 2021.

The workshop was a requirement by the Governing Board of the NCA in accordance with the Board’s approval of a total of One Hundred and Thirty-Three (133) FM Radio Broadcasting Authorisations which include:

• 13 New Applications from entities whose FM radio stations were closed down after the 2017 FM Audit and who applied for new Authorisations

• 95 Applications for renewal of existing FM Radio Broadcasting Authorisations

• 25 New Applications recommended by the NCA Management to the Board.

Addressing participants at the workshops, the Director-General of the NCA, Joe Anokye disclosed that frequencies are national assets held in trust by the NCA and assigned to specific users for a period subject to specific conditions.

He said “the frequencies are not assigned to users in perpetuity. As such, it is important that you understand the terms and conditions of your Authorisation so that you comply with them.

We do not want any Authorisation Holder to claim ignorance of the conditions for operating the service. As a matter of fact, it is unpleasant for us to suspend stations and revoke Authorisations; our duty is to enforce the law.”

• Timelines and requirements for installation and inspection checklist

• Test Transmission Authorisation

• Annual Regulatory Fee payment schedule and penalties for default

• Transmission parameters and coverage limits

• Renewal Guidelines and timelines

• Suspensions and Revocations of Authorisations.

• Modifications and Amendments of Authorisations, etc.

It is the expectation of the NCA that Authorisation Holders will endeavour to comply with the terms and conditions of their Authorisations.

The Director-General added that “the NCA has invested in Broadcasting Monitoring Systems, Spectrum Monitoring tools and commenced automation of the spectrum management processes … to ensure consistency, transparency, and accountability which are part of our guiding core values”.

The Executive Secretary of the National Media Commission, George Sarpong, who spoke on broadcast content regulation, urged the participants to note that “content must not condone violence, anti-social behavior”. He further advised the Authorisation Holders to note that programs content should not encourage crime, racial or political tension.

The Electronic Communications Act, 2008 (Act 775) and the Electronic Communications Regulations 2011 (L.I. 1991) require Holders of frequency Authorisations to abide by specific regulations and conditions, failing which the Authorisation may be suspended or revoked.

The workshops were thus intended to assist the successful Applicants to gain a clear understanding of the regulations and conditions to facilitate compliance. The presentations and discussions addressed related issues including:

• Understanding the legal and regulatory framework of FM Radio Broadcasting

Source: Mercy Obeng-Dapaah

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