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Frequency modulation broadcasting - Report of independent inquiry (Mr F. C. McLean), 8 March 1974

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1974—Parliamentary Paper No. 24



M arch 1 9 7 4

Presented by command 13 March 1974

Ordered to be printed 2 April 1974



Printed by Kerton Bros (S.A.) Pty Ltd, Edwardstown, S.A.

Your Excellency:

We have the honour to present the following Report in accordance with our Letters Patent of 27 November 1973.

DATED this eighth day of March 1974.

His Excellency the Right Honourable Sir Paul Hasluck, G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O., K.St.J., Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief, Government House Canberra. A.C.T.





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Chairman of the Telecommunications Industry Standards Committee of the British Standards Institution and a former Director of Engineering at the B.B.C.

PROFESSOR CHARLES CYRIL RENWICK Director of the H unter Valley Research






All inquiries should be addressed to:

The Secretary, Independent Inquiry into Frequency Modulation Broadcasting Box 2573, G.P.O., Sydney, N.S.W. 2001




1.0 IN T R O D U C T IO N ...................................................................................... 9

2.0 RECOM M ENDATIONS........................................................................ 11

2.1 F.M. broadcasting Should be in the V.F.H. Band . . . 1 2

2.2 V.F.H./F.M. Channel Allocation . . . . . . 1 2

2.3 Future Planning of V.F.H. Spectrum . . . . . 1 2

2.4 Proposed Work on Use of U.H.F. B a n d ........................................12

2.5 Use of A.M. Band . . . . . . . . . 12

2.6 Consultative Committee on Broadcasting . . . . 1 3

2.7 Technical Committee on Broadcasting . . . . . 1 3

2.8 Cessation of New T.V. Allocations in Channels 3, 4 and 5 . 13 2.9 Performance of F.M. and T.V. Receivers . . . . 1 3

2.10 U.H.F. Facilities on T.V. Receivers . . . . . . 14

2.11 V.H.F./F.M. Network for A.B.C...................................................... 14

2.12 V.H.F./F.M. Public Access Stations . . . . . 1 4

2.13 V.H.F./F.M. Community Stations . . . . . . 14

2.14 V.H.F./F.M. Stations for Commercial Use . . . . 1 4

2.15 General Requirements for Licences for V.H.F./F.M. Broadcasting . . . . . . . . . 14

2.16 Service Area and Programme Content of V.H.F./F.M. Stations 14 2.17 Technical Planning Staff . . . . . . . 15

3.0 D I S C U S S I O N .......................................................................................15

3.1 V.H.F. Pilot Tone or an Alternative . . . . . 1 5

3.2 Channel Availability in V.H.F. . . . . . . 1 6

3.3 Intensification of A.M. Band U s a g e ........................................17

3.4 Overall Quality Control . . . . . . . . 1 7

3.5 Future Planning . . . . . . . . . 1 7

3.6 P r o g r a m m e s ...................................................... . . . 1 8

3.7 Licences . . . . . . . . . . . 1 8

4.0 C O N C L U S I O N .......................................................................................19

5.0 APPENDICES 1. List of Submissions and Representatives . . . . . 2 1

2. Analysis of Evidence Submitted . . . . . . 3 1

3. Channel Requirements in V.H.F...................................................... 33

4. Channel Availability in V.H.F. . . . . . . 3 7

5. Time-tables for Transmitter Completion and Population Coverage . . . . . . . . . . 39

6. Comparison of V.H.F./F.M. and U.H.F./F.M. Systems . . 45 7. Interference in a V.H.F./F.M. System . . . . . 4 9

8. Estimated Price of V.H.F. and U.H.F. Receivers . . . 5 1

9. General Cost Summary . . . . . . . . 53

10. Performance Requirements for Radio and T.V. Receivers . 61 11. Use of International Bands for Broadcasting . . . . 6 3

12. Use of A.M. Broadcasting B a n d ................................................ 65

13. Characteristics of the Recommended V.H.F./F.M. System . 67 14. Consultative Committee on Broadcasting and Technical Liaison Committee on Broadcasting . . . . . . 69

15. Present T.V. Allocations in the V.H.F. Band . . . . 7 1

16. Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . 73

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1.1 In carrying out the Commission entrusted to us we have held Public Hearings and have received submissions from public bodies, religious associations, industrial organisations, interested bodies and private persons. These are set out in Appendix 1. There is an analysis of their views in Appendix 2. These

hearings were held, after due notification, in all States and the cities listed. We have had detailed discussions with various competent bodies especially on questions concerned with the solution of the technical problems involved. We have seen demonstrations at government and private laboratories and received reports from such bodies.

An evaluation of the present and future demand for F.M. services and of the facilities available in the near and in the more distant future has been a vital part of our examination.

1.2 We have taken particular note of the matters brought to our attention in the Letters Patent issued to us and reported in the Australian Government Gazette No. 188 of 13 December, 1973. We make the following comments on them:

1.21 1. The Australian Government’s desire that F.M. broadcasting be introduced as speedily as is possible consistent with the public interest; We have taken public interest to mean that the solution must be such as to meet the public demand in the short term and also to give continuing satisfaction to the public in the long term. We believe the solution we propose meets both of these requirements. The timetable for the solution is shown in

Appendices 5 and 9.

1.22 2. The Australian Government’s Policy of encouraging plurality of involvement in the media; We have looked into this with a view to finding a solution which could give sufficient outlets in the immediate future and would also be capable of

adequate increase to meet the expanding requirements foreseen in the longer term. In Appendix 3 we have set out these forecasts, showing the probable demands and the probability of channels being available. We think that the

proposals are realisable and have adequate flexibility and give sufficient margin for a long time to come.

1.23 3. The various reports of the Australian Broadcasting Control Board on the Problems involved in Frequency Allocation and the Establishment of F.M. Broadcasting Services; We have very carefully studied these reports giving particular attention to the Report of the Australian Broadcasting Control Board (A.B.C.B.) of June

1972 entitled Frequency Modulation Broadcasting and to the A.B.C.B.’s Report No. 34. We have had detailed discussions with the people concerned in their preparation and we have attended demonstrations of equipment and systems. These reports taken in conjunction with information made available

to us by the Australian Post Office (A.P.O.) have been carefully considered, as have reports on these matters submitted by other organisations and companies.


1.24 4. The Second Progress Report of the Senate Standing Committee on Education, Science and the Arts on all aspects of television and broadcasting including Australian content of television programme made in August, 1973; We have studied this report very carefully and have had discussions with some of the people concerned, taking into account all the points made.

1.25 5. The immediate and long-term implications for the listening public, the government and industry having regard to the costs and benefits of alternative technical solutions; We have considered both the immediate and the long-term economic implications with particular regard in the long term to achieving an acceptable overall cost benefit solution. In the short term we have attempted to minimise

outlays by all sectors. We have taken the view that the system should be found fully adequate and convenient by the public. The long-term is interpreted as the situation over the next two decades, in relation to expected Australian growth.

1.26 6. The unique situation which exists in Australia through the use of non-standard frequencies for established television services; We have considered the effect on both T.V. and F.M. of current and proposed frequency usage in Australia. We have considered how it might be brought more into line with accepted international frequency uses, the cost of so doing and the advantages which should accrue. Relevant points are set out

in Appendix 11.

1.27 7. The likely consequences of any intermixture of two or three different forms of radio services (A.M., V.H.F./F.M., U.H.F./F.M.); It is beyond question that A.M. services will continue for an indefinite period into the future, and indeed we think that some of the present unsatisfied demands for channels will most properly be met by a more intensive use of the A.M. Band. While we would not rule out the possibility of eventual sharing by the radio services of all three bands we would deprecate this as making the receiver too complicated and too expensive.

1.28 8. The need to allow for adequate future expansion in any F.M. services which may be introduced having regard to past, present and anticipated trends in demand; Appraisal of present and future requirements has been made and is shown in Appendix 3 while the anticipated channel availability is shown in Appendix 4. From a comparison of these we estimate that our immediate

recommendations will provide fully adequate F.M. facilities for at least the next five to seven years and will be capable of expansion to more facilities should they be required beyond that date. Appendix 4 gives a possible capacity in Sydney and its surrounding areas. The Sydney/Newcastle/Wollongong

areas (total population (1972) 4.4M), has been chosen for the illustration, as any solution which meets the stringent requirements of this area will readily meet the remainder of Australian conditions. The Melbourne area situation (total population (1972) 2.7M) is also

complicated but admits of a similar solution. Correspondingly the problem in other areas can be solved.


In considering the factors set out in our Commission, we have tried to envisage the situation as it will develop over the next two decades. From advice received we see little chance that alternative means of distribution such as cables or

satellite transmissions will have an appreciable effect over this period and no chance at all that they could supplant existing methods within this period. We accept that in limited areas, and special situations, cable distribution will be used. This, however, will not reduce the need for over the air coverage. Our

recommendations are based, therefore, on the assumption that for the next 20 years radio and television will be dependent on signals radiated by conventional means. The possible development of cassette players will not appreciably affect the conclusions of this report.

In our examination of these questions we have received the help essential to our work from many interested bodies and private individuals. We most particularly mention the A.B.C.B. and the A.P.O. both of which contributed invaluable information for our appraisal. We would particularly like to mention the excellent examination of the problems involved contained in the

A.B.C.B.’s Report No. 34 and the value of subsequent work carried out in their laboratories. Reports submitted by other laboratories have also been of great value.

Based on all this information, as indicated to us at hearings, in submissions, in demonstrations at various laboratories and in numerous private discussions, we make the recommendations given below. These recommendations are followed by a discussion giving the principal factors supporting the

recommendations and by 16 appendices in which the factors and the information submitted are examined in detail. This information covers technical, economic and social aspects of the system.

Our examination has confirmed the statements in the 1972 Report of the A.B.C.B. and in their Report No. 34 as to the inherent advantages of V.H.F. for an F.M. Service. It has confirmed that from the technical, economic and social aspects V.H.F. possesses great advantages over U.H.F.

The work carried out in the laboratories since 1972 has shown that interference will, in the V.H.F. Band be less serious than was then feared and that with careful planning it can be reduced to acceptable proportions. Appendix 7 has details on this point.

Improvements in receiving equipment will eventually cause this kind of interference to disappear. The seriousness of these factors has also been much reduced by the recently announced decision to increase the usage of the A.M. Band and hence reduce the impact of demand on the F.M. Band.

In our report we have not attempted to repeat the excellent data in the A.B.C.B. Reports but have re-examined this in the light of new data and of present day conditions.


While we appreciate the technical ingenuity of the many alternative suggestions put forward, on the evidence (technical, economic, and social) we find in favour of the V.H.F. solution. Our recommendations follow:


2.1 1. That F.M. Broadcasting should be started in Australia as soon as possible using the Pilot Tone Stereo system in the V.H.F. Band (88­ 108 MHz.) We would anticipate that this service could start from approximately 2 or 3 stations, each with six transmitters in about 2-2*/2 years from the date of approval and that the build-up of the service after that date would be such that 95 percent coverage could be achieved in 7-8 years provided that adequate finance and technical effort was available. The principal stations would be located at or near an existing T.V. site and would contain initially six transmitters. The characteristics of the transmitters and system are outlined in

Appendix 13. In preparation for the above the T.V. transmissions from the Channel 5 T.V. stations should be replaced by other transmitters on other channels so that the space occupied by Channel 5 may be used for F.M. broadcasting.

T.V. transmissions on Channel 5 and on the replacement channels should be maintained in parallel for some months to give the public time to make any necessary changes to their receivers and to become accustomed to the new channels. After this period Channel 5 T.V. operations should cease and transmissions should start from the F.M. stations allocated in this spectrum space. "

Details of the plan are given in Appendix 5. It would also be possible to start a limited introductory service in some areas within less time from the date of a decision to proceed, by using transmitters in the space 92-94 MHz. We recommend the start of such early transmission.

2.2 2. That the V.H.F. Spectrum Space available should be allocated on 0.1 MHz. channeling basis and that in any one reception area adjacent channels should initially be spaced 0.8 MHz. apart while in adjacent reception areas spacing of 0.4 MHz. may be used. Should expected developments in transmitter and receiver design later permit additional transmissions could in many cases be inserted at the 0.4

MHz. intervals in the same reception areas.

2.3 3. That planning should begin for the provision of the additional V.H.F. Spectrum space for the additional F.M. transmissions which will be required later.

The investigations and the alternative solutions which have already received attention from the A.B.C.B. and the A.P.O. should be pursued. Appendix 4 gives particulars of possible future additions to the spectrum space available for F.M. and the chart and tables attached show the possible future channel availability. The dates at which the various increased developments will be required will depend on the rate of growth of the F.M. services.

2.4 4. That a programme of work should be put in hand to assess the problems involved in the use of the U.H.F. Band for broadcasting under Australian conditions.

We think this band will undoubtedly be required for T.V. purposes. It is recommended that this work should be put in hand forthwith in the light of international usage of this band.

2.5 5. Full advantage should be taken of the forecast of the Minister of the


Media made on 20 February, 1974, that the number of (A.M.) stations throughout Australia could be doubled. A careful examination should be made to decide which of the new requirements submitted should be more properly accommodated in the A.M. Band and which in the F.M. Band.

We would recommend, therefore, that the present studies by the A.B.C.B. on the use of increased power, synchronised transmitter operation, the use of directive aerials and possibly closer channel spacings should be continued.

Our own broad assessment is given in Appendices 3 and 12.

2.6 6. That the Minister of the Media should consider setting up a permanent consultative committee to advise on basic matters affecting the development of all broadcasting services, whether over the air, by wire, by satellite, by recorded form or by any new form of

mass communication.

This Committee would have no Executive power but would have terms of reference and membership set out in Appendix 14. We feel that a broadly based continuing committee representing major interests could make invaluable contributions to the orderly development of broadcasting in


2-7 7. That a body should be set up to co-ordinate the purely technical aspects of broadcasting development.

This Committee also would be purely advisory and would have terms of reference and membership as set out in Appendix 14.

2.8 8. That no new T.V. transmitters should be authorised in Channel 5 and no new authorisation should be made in Channel 3 or 4 pending a detailed forecast of F.M. facilities required in the 1980’s.

The early transfer of Channel 5 spectrum space to F.M. is an essential part of the plan. It will entail cost as set out in Appendix 9 and will also possibly entail some short-lived inconvenience to the public. The first step in the development of F.M. channel availability requires that no further development

of T.V. channels in the proposed F.M. band should occur. Subsequent increases in demand and also the desirability of bringing channel usage into accord with international usage would require the removal of Channel 4 and of Channel 3 from T.V. usage. This would involve much greater cost and more

widespread inconvenience but would not be necessary earlier than some 10 years after the decision to start the F.M. service. It would, however, be wise to make all further T.V. allocations to channels other than Channels 5, 4 and 3. This may cause some expansion into the U.H.F. band, the use of which for

T.V. is inevitable, on world experience. (See also Recommendation 2.4).

2.9 9. That arrangements to control the performance of T.V. and F.M. receivers should be made particularly in relation to their mutual interference producing capabilities.

The usefulness of the T.V. bands is at present limited, according to some of the evidence submitted. This evidence stated that certain broadcast receivers in use or sold in Australia radiate harmful products well above the internationally accepted levels for such radiation. They are also thought to be

less resistive to strong unwanted signals. This is bound to impede the


usefulness of channels in all bands and cause interference to many users both in the broadcasting bands and elsewhere. See Appendix 10.

2.10 10. That as soon as possible all colour and all black and white T.V. receivers should be made suitable for U.H.F. reception.

It has been pointed out that if the public have in use an appreciable number of receivers which are unsuitable for U.H.F. reception, this will prove a severe handicap to long range planning of the Australian broadcasting services.

2.11 11. That a network of F.M. stations should be developed by the A.B.C.

for national broadcasting purposes.

2.12 12. That public access stations should be established under the control of the Department of the Media, which should create the means to build, manage and finance these stations and be responsible for the hiring of their facilities to groups wishing to use them.

This will ensure adequate standards of presentation, an orderly use of facilities, and an efficient use of channels.

2.13 13. That non-profit making community stations, financed by funds raised from members of the public and institutions, be established, subject to rules concerning standards, programmes, and service areas.

These would include ethnic, music and education stations.

2.14 14. That commercial (i.e., profit orientated) stations should be established, subject to rules concerning programmes and service areas.

The rules envisaged would allow for a continuous process of separation of A.M. and F.M. programmes to ensure a new service on F.M.

2.15 15. The licences for all F.M. broadcasting stations should be granted by the A.B.C.B. after public hearings and in the light of the availability of channels, the specific needs for services in F.M., and other general requirements as set out in this report, or established from time to time by interested parties, in the light of the growth of Australia.

The two Committees, recommended in 2.6 and 2.7 above, could well advise on many aspects of licensing mentioned in this Recommendation.

2.16 16. That for the new F.M. allocations the definition of the service area covered by the licence should be clearly established.

The establishment of a new service provides the opportunity to make clear the technical basis on which a licence is granted, the coverage area, and to establish the degree of protection to be engaged by the owner of the licence, when future proposals for channel sharing arise. Rules should be established for the extent and period of programme sharing by A.M./F.M. services.

Both the attractiveness of the service to the listeners and the total number of channels required are directly affected by the degree to which programme duplication between A.M. and F.M. stations is permitted.


2.17 17. Additional staff should be provided in the Technical Planning Department of the A.B.C.B. and in the Transmitter Construction Department of the A.P.O. sufficient to enable implementation of the F.M. development set out in Appendix 9 to be achieved in the time indicated.

The volume of work will be very considerable, will need to be sustained over a long period of years, and will need to be carried out with minimum delay.


The essential parts of the information on which our Recommendations are based are contained in the Appendices. We do not propose to summarise all these, but the following paragraphs bring out some of the more salient points.

3.1 1. V.H.F. Pilot Tone or U.H.F. Pilot Tone or New System (See

Appendix 6).

From the submissions which we have received an analysis of the situation as we see it is set out in Appendix 6 and is summarised as follows:

(a) The V.H.F. Pilot Tone system is well known, as are its performance, cost and general characteristics. The system is considered fully adequate to meet the F.M. listening needs of most of the world. It has proven to be acceptable to the public for both monophonic and stereophonic reception.

(b) There are good grounds for thinking that this system will be extensible for quadraphonic broadcasting should this be required.

(c) We recognise that the various proposals for alternative coding systems based on communication industry practice could possibly give improved results in some respects. Development of such systems would take considerable time and the verification of acceptability by

extensive field trials still more time. It is possible that such systems would be found either not capable of giving the required performance or of requiring an expensive receiver or possibly a receiver difficult to operate by the ordinary person. Verification of

these factors would take considerable time; we were told approximately 2 years but we believe it could well be longer. Our assessment of the attractiveness of the proposals and the probability of success is such that we reached the conclusion that the delay and cost to investigate further would be greater than had been suggested.

Moreover this work would tie up a very considerable effort by all concerned including the manufacturing industry. There would be a further effective delay by the probable reluctance of the public to accept readily a new system.

Coverage on U.H.F. would therefore not start before the date at which V.H.F. could be approaching 85-90 percent coverage.

(d) The coverage characteristics of the V.H.F. are such that 95 percent coverage should be achievable within about 7 years, and transmission could largely be carried out from existing T.V. sites.

(e) The characteristics of U.H.F. are such that for a given number of transmitters the coverage is markedly less and many blind spots are


to be expected. It seems doubtful whether as much as 90 percent coverage would be obtained within 7 years from the start of transmission, which itself could be 5 to 6 years from the date of the

decision to proceed with the system. The work and cost involved to obtain 95 percent coverage would be very much greater. There is a risk that the development work on U.H.F., and a new coding system, which would occupy some two or three years, would reveal a basic unsuitability of the U.H.F. band for radio usage.

We were strengthened in this view by the opinions expressed by so many interests that the Pilot Tone system was entirely satisfactory for monophony and that the theoretical degradation towards the limit of the service area was in practice not an appreciable restriction on stereo reception.

V.H.F. stereo could earn rapid public acceptance from two years from the decision to proceed, whilst U.H.F. would earn much slower acceptance (from, say 5 to 7 years from the decision) due to problems of incomplete penetration and public reluctance in the face of innovation. (f) The economic factors as set out in Appendix 9 are very strongly in

favour of the V.H.F. system. -

The estimates show that it would take U.H.F. about 12 years to achieve the benefits to the public expected from V.H.F. in 3 years, and the cost would be very much higher. (See Appendix 9, tables I and II).

Thus on technical, economic and social grounds we find that V.H.F. has quite convincing advantages as compared with U.H.F. for monophonic and stereophonic Radio Broadcasting in Australia.

3.2 2. Channel Availability in V.H.F. (See Appendix 4).

(a) The most difficult part of Australia to serve on F.M. is

Sydney/Newcastle/Wollongong, and we paid particular attention to this area as it was here that the effect of any limitations on the number of channels available would be most marked. Based on Report No. 34 and subsequent work we think that channels as set out in Appendix 4 would be available and that this number would be supplemented by an additional number of low power transmitters.

We believe that in practice the interference will be less serious than forecast in the 1972 Report of the A.B.C.B. and that with the developments now being introduced in receiver design the interference problem, forming the basic limitation on the channel availability covered in Report No. 34, will disappear within a relatively short period of time.

The total number of channels available in any one area depends on the balance between High Power, Medium Power and Low Power stations. In our present forecast we have shown a number of typical allocations of the wide variety of combination of frequency, spacing and power. Many other combinations will be investigated during the detailed planning of the system.

(b) The basic channel availability is postulated on 800 kHz. spacings. There are grounds for thinking that at the present time this is somewhat on the generous side. Whilst it involves the solution of


problems relating to the transmitter and the receiver, we are confident however, that before all the channels on 800 kHz. spacing have been used it will be possible to introduce within the same reception area additional transmitters on the 400 kHz. intervals. We

are convinced that adequate channels will be available to meet the demand.

3.3 3. Intensification of A.M. Band Usage (See Appendix 12).

Examination of the A.M. Band usage in Australia shows that the powers used are far below those that are considered appropriate in most other countries in the world and that the signal available at the limit of the defined service area gives quite inadequate protection against the high noise level characteristic of

A.M. reception in Australia. A general power increase could be a most useful step. Moreover, increased sharing of large number of channels would also be advantageous. Work being carried out by the A.B.C.B. shows that many more transmitters could be accommodated in the A.M. Band and would give a

service to a large section of the community at the minimum cost, as many of the requests for F.M. allocation could be fully met by A.M.

3.4 4. Overall Quality Control (See Appendix 10).

In a broadcasting chain, whether it be radio or T.V., the final result seen or heard by the public is dependent on all the processes in the chain. Deficiencies anywhere in the chain will spoil final reception. Deficiencies in the transmitting network cannot be removed by the receiver. Conversely, if the

deficiency is in the receiver there is nothing the originating and distributing authority can do about it. Equally because a poor receiver can cause interference to other receivers the performance of individual receivers is most important. To co-ordinate all these standards and ensure satisfactory characteristics at each stage in the process requires a close co-operation

between the originating bodies, the bodies responsible for programme lines, the bodies responsible for transmitter operation and those for receiver manufacture and maintenance. All these should collaborate to lay down

standards for the various parts of the chain. This work would be carried out by the Technical Committee proposed in Recommendation No. 7, in accordance with the definitions in Appendix 14.

3.5 5. Future Planning (See Appendix 10).

Future planning for F.M. or T.V. must be able to plan for the efficient use of the whole spectrum space. If a considerable number of receivers in the hands of the public are not tunable over certain bands, they will preclude the full use

of that section of the spectrum for many years. The public is about to invest large sums of money in the purchase of colour T.V. receivers. These are likely to remain in operation for 10 years or more. There is the strong possibility of the introduction of U.H.F. T.V. broadcasting before the end of this period. It

seems particularly important that this possibility be recognised by ensuring that all colour receivers and all future production of black and white receivers are suitable for the U.H.F. Band. It is not anticipated that, as a result of the

opening of an F.M. service, it will be necessary to transfer any existing T.V. service to the U.H.F. Band. However, it may be desirable to allocate some new T.V. services to that band and for this reason also it is desirable that U.H.F. receivers should be available.


3.6 6. Programmes (See Appendix 2). The A.B.C. request was for creative programming. They have a need for fine music, other music, educational drama and entertainment and news programmes. The needs of regional populations are especially important to the A.B.C. which envisages a network of F.M. stations covering approximately the same coverage areas as the present regional T. V. network.

In evidence to the Inquiry, music in F.M./stereo stood out as a large and diverse requirement. But there was also a demand for the advantages in noise free high quality monophonic reception which F.M. will bring. Educational services, for all ages, social and economic groups and religious programmes were also much sought after.

Those Commercial radio stations which are largely dependent on music, seek to extend their present programmes and to develop new ones in F.M. using especially stereophony in the pop field. Mobile sets would largely continue to use monophony. Duplication of A.M. programmes on F.M. was generally held to be undesirable, except for initial penetration.

Community programmes of various sorts, covering drama, politics, education and other talk-types of programmes seek F.M. as an alternative to existing Commercial/A.B.C. presentations. Their supporters, anxious to achieve the lowest costs, believed F.M. would be. an attractive financial proposition but this is not necessarily the case.

Programme time could be shared, e.g., music and education; religion and religion; drama and talks; and in other compatible combinations. Neither the Commercial stations nor the A.B.C. would wish to share, so in F.M. the present dichotomy of national/commercial broadcasting would continue, but the new community programmes would tend to share time,

programmes, costs and management. Ethnic services would probably need an exclusive outlet. The analysis in Appendix 2 shows the spread of interest of the various users.

3.7 7. Licences.

There was not a great deal of discussion of these during the Inquiry, but it was apparent from presentations by the A.B.C. and existing commercial licence holders that they would expect to be able to take up F.M. licences, along with their A.M. licences. It was thought that no licence holder should after an introductory period hold A.M. and F.M. licences unless he was producing sensibly different programmes.

It was said that a number of smaller regional operators of commercial stations were thought not to be sufficiently financially viable to be contenders for F.M. licences, but possibly a number could combine to hold a licence. Some groups felt that a share of time was what was needed and did not express themselves as greatly interested in licence holding, except those representing music, educational and ethnic groups.

Education and music groups were generally keen to have their own licence. Several witnesses made the specific point that no existing commercial licence holder should have an F.M. licence. Others suggested a limited, competitive situation between new and old situations. Where these points were raised, needs for separation from other branches of the media was generally stressed. It was widespread opinion, until the time of the announcement by the Minister of the Media, that the A.M. band was full and that new licences could only be available for the F.M. band. A suggestion that more A.M. licences


might meet some of the pressures caused several supporters of F.M. to say that what was wanted was more radio, and how this was achieved (so long as technically satisfactory and able to present the programmes they needed) was not a particular concern of theirs. The announcement of the prospective

availability of more A.M. licences, which occurred shortly before the end of the hearings, led to further expressions of opinion on the above lines.


4.1 There remains to be done a great deal of detailed planning to implement the broad system laid down in this Report. We have looked at the future in terms of two decades and hope that the objectives we have set out will be realised before half that time has passed.

We hope it would be possible in the very near future to start an introductory V.H.F./F.M. service, on low power, and possibly with progressive contributions from various sources. The regular service, we hope, would begin in two to two and a half years.

Finally, we would like to express our warm appreciation and gratitude for the help and co-operation we have experienced from all sides.





The hearings opened on 14 January 1974 and the final hearing was on 22 February 1974.

Submissions Presented at Hearings by

ADAMS, A. P. 31 Walsh Crescent, Nowra 2540

AMALGAMATED WIRELESS A/SIA LTD. 47 York Street, Sydney 2000

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Dr. R. W. Davies Mr. A. J. Gabb Mr. D. Craig

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Hearings took place at the following times and locations:-Sydney 14 January 1974 Sydney 21 January Afternoon from 2.30 p.m

Morning from 9.30 a.m. Afternoon from 2.30 p.m Morning from 9.10a.m. Afternoon from 2.00 p.m. Morning from 9.15 a.m. Afternoon from 2.00 p.m. Morning from 9.30 a.m. Afternoon from 2.30 p.m. Afternoon from 3.15 p.m. Morning from 9.00 a.m. Afternoon from 2.00 p.m. Afternoon from 12 noon Afternoon from 2.30 p.m. Morning from 9.00 a.m. Morning from 9.15 a.m. Morning from 10.45 a.m. Morning from 9.15 a.m. Morning from 9.15 a.m.

Sydney 29 January

Sydney 30 January

Sydney 31 January

Melbourne 4 February Melbourne 5 February

Hobart 6 February Adelaide 7 February Perth 11 February Sydney 14 February Brisbane 15 February Sydney 21 February Newcastle 22 February




The degree of interest shown in the particular aspects of F.M. Broadcasting indicated below has been assessed by the number of submissions showing an interest in each of the aspects.

Submissions received from other than Government Departments

Areas of interest

Programmes Control category Coverage required

Early Introduction



Transmission Channel needs

Music Education Religion Ethnic

Community Other A.B.C.

Commercial Other National

Regional Local




Exclusive Shared

Private citizens 9 7 2 2 2 7 2 1 3 3 11 1 33 6 5

Radio &T.V. stations 2 2 5 6 1 2 6 5

Educational groups 1 10 1 1 1 1 2 5 4 3

Religious organisations 3 5 7 4 5 5 3

Electronic importers 3 1 1 3 6

Electronic manufacturers 3 2 2 1

Community groups 4 1 2 2 3 3 2 1 2 2

Professional associations 2

Art & Music societies 3 1 4 2 1 3 3 2 1 3 2 1

Other 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 2 1 1










The availability of additional A.M. channels (announced on 20 February 1974) will meet adequately some of the needs in major urban areas, of ethnic groups, educational and religious bodies and some A.B.C. requirements (e.g. proposed

news and information networks for metropolitan centres). In consequence, demand for F.M. channels will be reduced, and the following allocations would be one way of meeting the basic F.M. needs as we see them. There is sufficient margin in the channels available for many

additional allocations to be developed. The ranges indicated are for illustration only. The actual ranges will depend on many factors such as aerial height, terrain etc. PHASE I (up to 8 years from start) SYDNEY A.B.C.

One high power (50 kW—70 miles) channel, basically for fine music but with some other entertainment elements, the programmes to be formed to meet a day’s requirements, rather than those of an hour or a shorter period (“creative programming”).

Commercial Radio Four medium-power (10 kW—35 miles) channels, to be allocated after public hearings, with the following principles in mind; (a) Independence of the applicant from other (non-radio) branches of the


(b) Demonstrable commercial viability.

(c) Specified programme and service activities.

Three low-power (1 kW— 18 miles) channels for applicants prepared to co­ operate in the establishment of local commercial radio in the Sydney growth centres such as west Parramatta, Campbelltown/Camden and Gosford.

Community Radio Two high-power (50 kW—70 miles) stations for education and fine music broadcasting.

Public Access Stations Three medium-power (10 kW—35 miles) stations, to be owned and managed by the Department of the Media and for use by citizen groups.


Same programme as Sydney on the following three stations: Newcastle/Maitland/Cessnock: 10 kW Upper Hunter : 10 kW Lower North Coast: 1 kW


C o m m e rc ia l R a d io

Newcastle Two medium-power (10 kW—35 miles) stations with licenses allocated as for Sydney

Upper Hunter One medium-power (10 kW—35 miles) station with the licence allocated as for Sydney.

Community and Public Access Four for Education and other needs—(low-power).



Same programme as Sydney on one station: 10 kW.

Commercial Radio One medium-power (10 kW—35 miles) station with the licence allocated as for Sydney.

Community Radio and Public Access Three for Education and other needs—(low-power).

SUMMARY This allocation will absorb from the channels available in Phase I: (See Appendix 4)

50 kW 10 kW 1 kW

3 14 11

leaving in reserve: 1 3 5

CANBERRA The Wollongong pattern should be repeated, modified as necessary.

BRISBANE, ADELAIDE, PERTH A modified version of the Sydney pattern is required.

HOBART AND THE NORTH OF TASMANIA The Newcastle pattern should be repeated, with the necessary modifications.



The A.B.C. requires a regional network in F.M. equivalent to its present regional T.V. coverage, and this request should be met if possible by 1980.


Expansion in this field will probably suggest allocations, in regional service centres, based on the same principles as for Sydney, but this will require more study.

Community Radio Depending on need.

EXTRA COUNTRY SERVICES Where these cannot be provided by the A.B.C. from the proposed network or from urban-based rural commercial stations, special community and public access outlets, of the necessary power, should be provided.

CONCLUSION The proposals made above, if fully implemented, would give access to some form of F.M. broadcasting to 95 percent of the Australian population by the end of the first seven years. After this time, the requirement would be for more

diversified services in highly populated cities and in growth centres, as need is established, and for the extension of basic services to the balance of the population.

The availability of Channels as determined in Appendix 4 is set out below:

C o m m e rc ia l R a d io

High Medium Low Total

Phase I (up to 8 years from start) 4 17 16 37

Phase II (between 8-10 years from start Either 28 — 14 42

Or 20 16 10 46

Phase III (beyond 10 years from start) any other 50


. -

\ - -

. ■ V - ' ·.




1. The space would be channelled on a 0.1 M.Hz. basis and the initial allocations would be such that in any one area the channels serving that area would initially be spaced 800 K.Hz. apart. This is to ease the problem both on the transmitter side and on the receiving side.

2. V.H.F. proposals make available at the start 2 M.Hz. between 92-94 and 7 M.Hz. between 101 and 108. The first space is available almost immediately and the second space will be available between lVi and 2Vi years after the decision to proceed. Some low power allocations could also be made all over the band 88-108 M.Hz. on the basis of non-interference to existing and already

planned T.V. service. Later proposals make additional space available. It would be necessary to ensure that new T.V. services are accommodated elsewhere than in the band 88-108 M.Hz. The spectrum availability is set out below in Phases; in giving the dates

below an early decision on V.H.F./F.M. has been assumed.

Phase I Channel Availability — Available after two years.

3. This would use the space 92-94 M.Hz. and the space vacated by Channel 5. The number of channels available in the key areas is shown in par. 7 below. From a comparison of this availability with the requirements given in Appendix 3, it would appear that this number of channels in Phase I would be

adequate for all requirements for at least 7 years after the start of the service.

Phase Π Channel Availability — Available after the eighth year.

4. This would use the same total spectrum space as Phase I but with the closer channel spacing of 400 K.Hz. Dependent upon expected improvements in transmitter aerial and receiver performance, allocations would be made in the 0.4 M.Hz. intervals between the initial 0.8 M.Hz. spacings. Additional stations could also be inserted in

appropriate locations at lesser channel spacings. This would very nearly double the total number of channels. The insertions would be at various channel spacings dependent on service area, transmitter power, aerial

radiation pattern and be made in accordance with accepted practice and standards. This plan would be expected to make sufficient channels available up to about 1985.

Phase ΙΠ Channel Availability — Available after the tenth year.

5. This would provide additional spectrum space by removing T.V. Channel 4 from the 94 to 101 M.Hz. band. The proposal has been made that the Aus­ tralian D.M.E. services between 202 and 206 M.Hz. and above 222 M.Hz. should be transferred to the 1000 M.Hz. band or elsewhere. This proposal

appears to be achieving some support in aeronautical circles and possibly could be implemented within a period of 10 years. If this were done then Channels 10 and 11 should be moved up 1 M.Hz. and a new Channel 9A created between Channel 9 and Channel 10. 9A would then be used for the

T.V. services at present carried out in Channel 4 thus nearly doubling the


Phase IV — Available i f required after the fifteenth year.

6. This would provide additional spectrum space by moving Channel 3 downward to be adjacent to Channel 2. A proposal has been made that some or all of the fixed and mobile services between 70 and 85 M.Hz. should be displaced to the more favourable U.H.F. band. If this were done then Channel 3 could be dropped in frequency to bring it below 88 M.Hz. The whole of the band 88-108 M.Hz. would then be available for F.M. thus bringing Australia into line with international practice in this matter possibly by 1990. The Channel Availability with time is set out below.

Channels Available in the Sydney—Newcastle—Wollongong area

channel space available in V.H.F. in the period 1985-1995.

7. High Medium Low

Power Power Power Total

Phase I (up to 7 years from start) i.e. to end of 1982

19 — 7 26

or — 36 — 36

Phase II (Space between channels halved) (up to 5 years from Phase I) i.e. to end of 1985 28 14 42

or 40 40

In Phases III and IV the total allocations would closely approach the possible maximum of 50 channels. From the end of 1990 the above total quantities can be increased by decreasing the number of High Power channels and increasing the number of Medium and Low Power.

The dates given are possible dates but the actual dates on which the extended channel availabilities covered by Phases II, III and IV will be required will be determined by the growth of the V.H.F./F.M. services. We would not expect the various requirements to be needed at dates earlier than thus indicated.

Figure I shows two examples of the channels which could be made available. Many other ways of using the spectrum space exist.




TRANSMITTERS The timetable rate of installation of transmitters will initially be constrained by the rate at which they and the associated aerials can be manufactured and installed.

1. V.H.F.

The technology for V.H.F. transmitters is well known. There is little likelihood of unforeseen difficulties. The A.P.O. and the A.B.C.B. estimate the first transmitter should be ready two years after the date of the decision to proceed. The initial rate of

production should be fifteen in the first year. If installed in 6 transmitter stations, this would give 2 to 3 stations per year. Production and installation should continue at a rate of 25 per year for the next two years and 35 per year thereafter.

Initial planning is based on transmission from 40 locations averaging 6 transmitters at each location. At the above production rates, 240 transmitters should be installed over an eight year period.

Figure I shows the expected availability of V.H.F. Channels.

2. U.H.F.

It is estimated that it would be at least five years before U.H.F. transmitters could be specified, designed and manufactured. As the design would be unique to Australia, design and production difficulties are likely to occur. In addition, with the limited public available and the higher costs as shown

in Appendix 9 the pressure by licensees to have the network expand rapidly would be less than with V.H.F. The initial rate of production will reflect both the potential difficulties and the cautious approach by licensees. It is estimated that only 12 transmitters would be installed in the first year of U.H.F. transmission. This would be the

fifth year after the date of the decision to proceed. The rate is expected to build up more slowly than for V.H.F. and to be by this order:

18 in the second year of transmission 25 in the third year 30 in the fourth, fifth and sixth years 45 in the seventh year, and

50 in the eighth year Figure II illustrates the timetable for installation of transmitters in both bands.

CLEARANCE OF CHANNEL 5 A necessary condition for the full scale introduction of V.H.F./F.M. Broadcasting is the clearing of T.V. Channel 5.


Existing services using Channel 5 would have to be relocated on alternate channels. In addition, in order to relocate Newcastle to Channel l,Taree must be relocated to Channel 6. A timetable for clearing Channel 5 is depicted in Figure III.

POPULATION COVERAGE The rate at which the percentage of population in the F.M. receiving area growth depends on:

1. the rate of installation of transmitters 2. the sequence of cities and areas in which they are installed 3. the physical location of the transmitters in the cities 4. whether a V.H.F. or U.H.F. system is insialled.

Figure II illustrates likely rates of growth of coverage assuming:

1. a rate of transmitter installations as discussed above 2. a sequence of installation similar to that adopted for the National T.V. network.

U.H.F. has both a smaller range and more stringent reception constraints than V.H.F. As the network grows some areas may be covered by U.H.F. trans­ mission from the same location and at the same power. It is estimated that V.H.F./F.M. coverage over the 40 localities included in

Stages 1 to 6 in the T.V. network development would serve 95 percent of the Australian population. U.H.F. transmission from the same locations would cover only 90 percent. A very large number of extra transmitters would be required to fill the gaps in the coverage to raise it to 95 percent coverage.




T H E C O M B I N A T I O N S S H O W N A R E : 1 - H. P. + L.R.

2 - M . P . O N L Y


I N T E R M E D I A T E N U M B E R S O F C H A N N E L S .





VHF Transmitters

VHF Coverage

UHF Transmiters ,UHF / Coverage





6 Months overlap allowed for viewers to accept new channel at Newcastle.

BUNBURY Service on Ch. 5 Build Replacement Service on new Ch Ch. 5 Free

CO T t

TRANSLATORS Service on Ch. 5 Build Replacement

Service on New Ch. Ch. 5 Free


1 2 3





-■ ■ ■






A. V.H.F. PILOT TONE PROPOSALS This proposal covers the use of the Pilot Tone System recommended by the C.C.I.R. and transmitted within the V.H.F. band.

Advantages of V.H.F./F.M.

1. The system is in successful use all over the world and transmitters and receiving equipment are available “off the shelf’’. No engineering or production problems would be posed by its introduction, apart from some possible interference special to the Australian situation as outlined in

Appendix 7. The channel availability figures have been estimated to take account of these possible interferences. If in the event, the interference is not serious then more channels will be available.

2. For a given power and a given number of transmitters the coverage given on V.H.F. will be appreciably greater than and more uniform than that on U.H.F.

3. The cost of the transmitter and receiving equipment is appreciably less. See General Cost Summary, Appendix 9. See Appendix 8 for an estimate of the Additional Cost of the U.H.F. Receiver.

4. An introductory service could be started in some cities in a matter o f months from the date of instruction to proceed and the introduction of transmitters for a final service could start in about 2-2Vi years from such date.

5. The growth of F.M. coverage is shown in Figure II.

6. There are good grounds for hoping that if required it will be possible to introduce quadraphony into the Pilot Tone system. See Appendix 13.

7. Adequate channels, as shown in Figure I, are available to meet expected requirements for the first 5-7 years while possibilities of increasing the availability of F.M. channels in V.H.F. exist as shown in Appendix 4 and are expected to be fully adequate for the increasing requirements of F.M.

8. It removes the need to carry out expensive and extensive development work on a new system which would be applicable in Australia only.

9. It gives expectation of an early and successful start to F.M. as many receivers are already in the hands of the public and supplies of receivers are currently available.

10. The performance of the V.H.F. receiver in reception quality is well known and it is known that ease of tuning of the V.H.F. receivers is no problem.

11. The known characteristics and world wide acceptance of the system would also encourage its early acceptance in Australia. V.H.F./F.M. radio has shown itself as being readily liked by the public both in its monophonic and its stereophonic form.

12. The initial planning provides against the possible risk of interference to and from T.V. receivers. As this situation improves, full and greater freedom of channel planning will be obtained.


Disadvantages of V.H.F./F.M. 13. It will be necessary to replace the television service given by stations on Channel 5 to 206,000 homes (ABC) and 33,000 homes (Commercial) also to make certain consequential arrangements the cost of all of which is shown in

the General Cost Summary, Appendix 9.

14. It is necessary to accept the risk that a small amount of interference to and from T.V. services will be experienced initially. In Appendix 7 proposals are made to minimise the effect of this.

15. To obtain equal reception on stereophony to that obtained on monophony, it is necessary towards the limit of the service area to use a high aerial. However, we are informed that many viewers in the areas where the T.V. signal is weak, already have such an aerial. The area of weak F.M. signal is likely to be the same as that of weak T.V. signal.

B. U.H.F./F.M. PROPOSALS This covers the use of the U.H.F. band, the signal being modulated by either the signal recommended by the C.C.I.R. or by a new system. Many alternative proposals have been made for the coding system. They include:

(a) Standard C.C.I.R. Pilot Tone as in V.H.F.: In this case the development work required is to achieve a low cost U.H.F. receiver of adequate selectivity, sensitivity and ease of tuning.

(b) A wide band Pilot Tone receiver in which case some decoder development would be required and the receiver problem would be a little more difficult than (a) but the performance would be improved.

(c) A twin carrier system for which a new U.H.F. receiver and a new decoding system would be required.

(d) A multiplex system using delta modulation, where appreciably more receiver development would be required.

(e) Other digital sampling and multiplex systems.

Although considerably more development work would be required for proposals b, c, d, and e, it is claimed that one or more of the systems could offer the possibility of improved stereophony and possibly improved quadraphony.

Advantages of U.H.F./F.M.

1. Following on success being obtained in one or other of the systems outlined above, improved overall performance might be obtained in stereophony and possibly also in quadraphony.

2. At the expense of taking spectrum space away from T.V. more channels for F.M. could be made available in the initial stage than is the case with V.H.F. In the long term there would be little difference in the number of channels available.

3. Mutual interference between the F.M. and the T.V. services would be less likely.

4. It has been claimed that it would provide support to Australian Electronic Research and Development.


Disadvantages of U.H.F./F.M.

1. The suitability of U.H.F. for a high quality radio service is unknown hence considerable and lengthy field work would be necessary to establish this. There is a possibility that it would be found unsuitable on either performance, coverage or economic grounds.

2. No work has been done on portable type U.H.F. receivers for the consumer market. This would require considerable development work and it would seem that the initial receivers would be bound to be appreciably more expensive than the V.H.F. receivers and appreciable additional cost would always be

incurred (See the General Cost Summary, Appendix 9 and also the receiver estimate Appendix 8).

3. The development of a suitable decoder would be dependent upon the system chosen but would represent appreciable work and any decoder would be more expensive than the very simple decoder required by the Pilot Tone system which has been available for many years.

4. There is increased cost of the U.H.F. transmitter network as compared with V.H.F. The extent of this is shown in Appendix 9.

5. Because it would be necessary to complete the development work on the system before transmitters were ordered, very appreciable delays in the start of the service would be incurred. (See Appendix 9).

It has been estimated that system development and field trials would take between 2 and 3 years and that after this 2 years would be required for transmitter construction giving an overall delay of at least 5 years. Receiver development would also have to be completed after the system specification was finalised and this would be likely to take more than 2 years. It would not be unreasonable to say that a U.H.F. service could not start before about 5 to 7 years after the date on which an instruction to proceed with the initial

appraisal is given. If the results were unacceptable it would then be necessary to resort to the V.H.F. solution. Because of this probability, it would be necessary to restrain further development in the use of Channels 5, 4 and 3 until the matter was settled.

6. It would tie up a very appreciable amount of development and design effort in the U.H.F. transmitter, aerial and receiver design field for a market restricted to Australia.

7. It would take away from the U.H.F. spectrum space an appreciable amount of channels in that, in terms of world experience, will most probably be required for future T.V. development.

8. It would tend to cut Australia off from world development in the F.M. broadcasting field and would militate to a certain extent against Australia’s participation in development in the T.V. field.

9. It would be very difficult and expensive to put up the coverage figure beyond about 90 percent of the population and many years would be required to achieve this.

10. A U.H.F. receiver is likely to be appreciably more difficult to tune and maintain in tune than the V.H.F. receiver.

11. Reception from hand-held U.H.F. receivers is likely to be uncertain in some locations.


12. Car reception on U.H.F. is likely to be much less satisfactory than V.H.F. due to problems of range, signal strength variations and tuning difficulties.

13. The introduction of a new F.M. system would delay public acceptance of F.M. partly because of public reluctance to support a new system until it is well established and partly from the appreciably increased costs which would be high in the opening years when production would be necessarily very low.




As pointed out in Report No. 34 interference caused by F.M. transmissions or F.M. receivers to T.V. reception can exist. Insofar as the interference to T.V. reception is concerned, it has been demonstrated at high signal levels and as very dependent on

receiver design, the demonstrations have shown worse results with the older type receivers than with modern receivers. The interference caused by modern F.M. receivers is not likely to be extensive. Evidence has been submitted by a number of authorities that in other countries much of this interference is not a limitation in

practice. Provided therefore that precautions are taken these interference problems are not a limitation on the introduction of an F.M. service. Report No. 34, the addendum to that Report and subsequent work carried out by the Control Board and elsewhere shows that interference to V.H.F./T.V. reception

can also be caused by F.M. transmission in the V.H.F. band where the received V.H.F./F.M. signal is high. The effect is very dependent on receiver design and adjustment. Recognition of these factors in the planning of the F.M. transmitters will reduce the interference to acceptable proportions. The interference should it occur

can be dealt with in the receivers by accepted methods at low cost. When T.V. has been cleared from the Band 88-108 the efficiency of usage of Channels 0 and 1 will be improved as these latter channels will not cause interference to the services now in Channels 3 and 4 in the new positions in which they will be

located. Overall our assessment is that interference is not likely to be a serious problem but, that in view of the special nature of the problem in Australia, it would be prudent to take precautions as set out below.

1. To plan the F.M. transmitter network to minimise the probability of interference. (This has been done in our forecast of channel availability).

2. To introduce the F.M. transmissions on reduced power and to increase the power progressively over a period as possible cases of interference are identified and cleared.

3. To warn radio servicemen of the steps to be taken should any interference be caused. The A.B.C.B. should consider whether, in collaboration with industry, technical data should be made available to servicemen in advance of the date of start of the service.

4. To ensure as recommended in Appendix 10 that the requirements for future receivers are fully met. The situation is judged to be largely avoidable in the near future and the trouble will disappear entirely as new receivers replace obsolescent receivers.




Low Medium Medium High

Quality Quality Quality Quality

Mono Mono Stereo Stereo

Approx. Cost o f VHF Receiver $15 $30— $50 $100— $200 $200—$500

Initial Additional Cost of U.H.F.

$9—12 $15—20 $20—30 $30—50

Additional Cost when in Quantity Production

after 3 years

$6—8 $12— 15 $15—20 $20—30


Initially $24—27 $45—70 $120— 130 $230—550

Later (after 3 years)

$21—23 $42—65 $115—220 $220—530

% Rise

Initially 60%—80% 40%—50% 15%—20% 10%—15%

Later 40%—53% 30%—40% 10%— 15% 6%—10%

Proportion of Sales in each Category

Initially 25% 50% 20% 5%

Later (after 3 years)

25% 30% 40% 5%

The initial selling prices are for low quantity production. The later prices assume that all development costs have been cleared and that volume production economies are realised. All prices assume that sales prices will be approximately at imported receiver costs. If Australian manufacture is necessary then the basic prices would increase considerably but the U.H.F. increase would hold and the percentage increase above


the cost of a V.H.F. receiver would be less. The total cost of receiver would be much higher. The figures given for the cost of a U.H.F. receiver are very approximate only. A number of people think they are too low. Based on the above apportionment by type of receiver, average figures are derived

thus: V.H.F.: $71.25 in the first three years of transmission and $93.25 thereafter. U.H.F.: $88.60 in the first three years and $107.30 thereafter. The Medium and High Quality Stereo categories will require a U.H.F. aerial to be installed. It is assumed this will add on the average an additional $15 to listeners’ costs in these categories.




1. SUMMARY OF COSTS A summary of the costs of providing an F.M. service is set out below. These costs are based on the estimates provided by the A.B.C.B.

Phase I

(a) V.H.F./F.M. Coverage of population

90% 95%

$m $m

Clearance of V.H.F. Band 92-94 and 101-108 M.Hz.................................. ................. 10.6 10.6

Transmitters etc. Capital C o sts...................... ................. 35.5 56.0

Additional Operating Costs ........................ ................. 5.7 15.6

Expenditure on Receivers ............................ ................. 130.8 259.9

182.6 342.1

. (b) U.H.F./F.M.

System Development Costs .......................... ................. 0.5 0.5

Transmitter etc. Capital Costs .................... ................. 64.8 No

figures available

Additional Operating Costs ........................ ................. 26.9

Expenditure on Receivers and Aerials ......... ................. 338.0


Expenditure on channel clearance on phases I, Π, III and IV Figure 1 of Appendix 4 shows the earliest date by which the channels could be cleared. The actual date on which they would be required will be determined by the growth of the demand for F.M. Channels.

It is necessary from the start to clear the whole of the Phase I proposal and the cost of so doing has to be included in the cost in Table 1, and in the figures above.


Phase II will incur no costs for Band clearance and the cost of all the transmitters is included in Table 1. No costs have been included in Table 1 for Phases III and IV as the date on which any of them will be required and whether all of them will be required is uncertain.

If however all this band clearance was required within the time span of ten years shown in Table 1 then the total costs incurred could be of the following order.

Arrangements for parallel operation on new channels plus new transmitters aerials etc............................................... approx. $M 4.0

Replacement of D.M.E. Facilities ........................................ approx. $M 12.0

Replacement of the Fixed and Mobile equipment below the frequency of 88 M.Hz.............................................. approx. $M 50.0

Note: The above figures were estimated from figures provided in the submissions from Philips Industries Holdings and Department of Transport and F.A.C.T.S.

It may not be necessary to move all these services and if a partial movement only is required then the first two proposals are much the most advantageous as they give more channel space and cost appreciably less than the third. Some of these replacement costs will be incurred in any case due to obsolescence

of plant and changes in operating requirements as may be the case with DME. In the case of DME the movement of that service to the 1000 M.Hz. band could perhaps effect the economics for the Department of Transport and the airlines. After allowance for this it might be that the sum required to be separately provided could be of the order of the following sums.

Clear TV Channels 3 and 4 .................................................................. $M 3.0

Move DME ............................................................................................$M 4.0

Move Fixed and Mobile ...................................................................... $M 14.0

2. MAJOR ALTERNATIVES Tables 1 and 2 below show the detailed estimated costs for the introduction of V.H.F./F.M. and U.H.F./F.M. respectively. In order to compare the outlays on a common basis, the present value of all future outlays under each alternative has been calculated. The cumulative present value over each period can then be compared.

A discounting rate of 7 percent per annum has been used in the calculations A concept of benefit has been used to measure the value to the public from having an F.M. service. In any year the benefit as defined here is that derived

by persons who are able to actually receive the service. That is, it is proportional to the number of sets in service in receiving areas.

As the benefit from one alternative will only be compared with benefit from another alternative, it is not necessary to quantify the proportioning factor. It is sufficient to have a number which measures the relative benefit for that year for that alternative. If in a particular year, there are one million sets in service under one alternative and two million sets under another, in relative terms, there is a benefit of one gained by the listening public under the first alternative and two under the other.

The total benefit over a period of years is an accumulation of the discounted benefit obtained by the listening public in each of the years in the period.


TABLE 1. Costs and Benefits for V.H.F./F.M. using A.B.C.B. Estimates of Sales of Receivers.

Item 1. The cost of replacing transmitters, translators, towers, etc. associated with changing the present T.V. Channel 5 to alternative Channels and changing Channel 1, Taree, to Channel 6. Item 2.

The cost of additional aerials required by the former viewers of Channel 5 whose alternative channel is in the band 1 spectrum. It is estimated that 25 percent of the 120,000 sets in this category will require an additional aerial at a cost of $15.00 each.

Item 3. The cost of moving the 24 services at present operating in the 92-94 M.Hz. band.

Item 4. The capital cost of supplying and installing the necessary F.M. transmitters and stations by the licensees.

Item 5. The additional operating expenses incurred by the licencees in providing an F.M. service. Item 6.

The segment of the spectrum occupied by T.V. Channel 5 is a valuable resource in a community where there is only a restricted number of T.V. Channels available. The loss of one channel to F.M. precludes it being used as a T.V. Channel. This cost is the estimate of the cost of providing an alternative

T.V. Channel service on a U.H.F. frequency in lieu of the Channel 5 which has been lost. It should be noted that the cost will only be incurred if it is, in fact, desired to increase the number of T.V. services. The timing for this is very

problematical. However, the cost has been included as occurring immediately in order to present the most conservative estimate of cost. Item 7. The expenditure by consumers on receivers is based on the estimate of sales

growth and the average cost per receiver and as apportioned in Appendix 8. The latter is calculated from the estimates in Appendix 8 and is $71.25 for the first 3 years of transmission and $93.25 thereafter. The increase in cost reflects the greater percentage of stereo receivers in the later years.

Item 8. The total of the Items 1 to 7.

Item 9. In order to take into account the different points of time at which the various expenditures are taking place, the present value of the future expenditures has been calculated. A discounting factor of 7 percent per annum has been used in this calculation.

Item W. This row gives the cumulative present value of the costs. Item II. The number of F.M. sets in service. Two groups of calculations have been

Comments on the elements in the tables are set out below:


made. The first assumes that there is no stock of V.H.F./F.M. receivers presently in Australia. Thus the number of sets in service is an accumulation of the sales in the successive years. The second basis for calculation assumes that there are 750,000 V.H.F./F.M. sets in Australia before the introduction of the F.M. service. It also assumes that these are evenly spread across the Australian population and that the stock in a receiving area is in the same proportion as the total population in that receiving area. The rate of growth of sales of V.H.F. sets is as estimated by the A.B.C.B.

(a) shows the number of sets in service assuming no stock.

(b) shows the number of sets in service assuming sales and the relevant proportion of the existing stock of sets. Item 12. It is assumed that the benefit to the community of having an F.M. service is

directly proportional to the number of sets in service. To reflect the effects of time and the different rates of acquisition, the future benefits year by year are discounted at the rate of 7 percent per annum.

Item 13. The index of benefit is accumulated year by year to give the present value of the total benefit which has been derived from an F.M. service. Item 14.

The benefit to cost ratio relates the total benefit which has been achieved up to a certain point of time with the total cost of providing that benefit. A high value of this ratio indicates that more people are receiving benefit per unit of cost of providing that benefit. It must be recognised that a benefit to cost ratio of 1 in this context does not mean the monetary return equals the monetary outlay. No estimate has been made of the monetary value of benefits of an F.M. service. The ratio is purely indicative of the relative nature of benefits and costs when comparing alternatives.

TABLE 2. Costs and Benefits for U.H.F./F.M. Assuming the A.B.C.B.’s Estimates of Sales of Receivers.

Item 1. This is the research and development costs in determining the feasibility of a U.H.F. system and the standards by which that system will operate. This is expenditure by or on behalf of the government which is necessarily incurred before the manufacturers are able to design the production receivers.

Item 2. The capital cost of supplying and installing the F.M. transmitters and stations.

Item 3. The additional operating costs of supplying an F.M. service.

Item 4. The average cost of a U.H.F./F.M. receiver is derived from Appendix 8. The average cost is estimated to be $88.60 in the first three years and $107.30 thereafter.

Item 5. It is expected that a U.H.F. aerial will be required in order to receive stereo F.M. satisfactorily. An aerial may also be required with the medium quality mono receivers. A cost of $15 is taken for this.


Items 6 to 12. Are the equivalent of Items 8 to 14 in Table 1. The comparison of the ratios of benefit to cost for the alternatives show that, even if the assumption that there is no stock of V.H.F./F.M. sets in

Australia prior to the start of transmission is valid, the V.H.F. alternative consistently has lower costs and greater benefits.

3. OTHER ALTERNATIVES The factor which has the greatest influence in the above calculations is the estimate of sales, year by year. A number of alternative estimates of sales growth have been examined in order to test the sensitivity of the finding to

different sales scales. These show that the V.H.F. benefit to cost relationship is consistently less than in the U.H.F. case.


The analysis of the costs and benefits associated with V.H.F./F.M. and U.H.F./F.M., given the assumptions of growth of sales, shows that the benefit/cost relationship for V.H.F./F.M. is considerably and consistently more attractive than for U.H.F./F.M. and that V.H.F./F.M. is invariably less expensive and provides greater benefit than U.H.F./F.M. The limits of the calculations are 12 years; outside those limits the V.H.F. solution becomes

increasingly attractive relative to U.H.F.

The salient points of the V.H.F./U.H.F. comparison could be summarised thus:

1. The cost of the capital equipment to be installed by the A.P.O., A.B.C. and the Commercial broadcasters would be of the order of $M45 for V.H.F. as compared with about $M90 for U.H.F.

2. The cost to the public would be less by an even greater amount being $M131 as compared with $M338.









In accordance with Recommendation No. 9 (paragraph 2.9) it would be desirable to have more formal and binding arrangements to ensure that the utilisation of spectrum space is limited to the minimum extent by receiver performance. It is equally necessary to ensure that the overall satisfaction to the public is not limited by receiver performance.

Respects in which binding requirements on manufacturers might be imposed are:

1. Minimum susceptibility of Radio and T.V. receivers to high signal input levels on wanted or unwanted frequencies.

2. Radiation from local oscillators on the fundamental and on harmonics.

3. Requirement that all T.V. receivers shall be multiband including U.H.F.

4. Establishment of performance standards for all receivers as set out below—

1. F.M. Receivers It would be necessary to establish a system of performance characteristic for the F.M. receivers concerned for Pilot tone in the V.H.F. Band. It would be necessary to determine whether or not an additional outlet such as S.C.A. (See Appendix 13) should be anticipated and appropriate provision made both in receivers for sale to the public and in receivers for S.C.A. use.

2. T.V. Receivers It would be necessary to specify that T.V. receivers in all bands should not be affected by strong F.M. signals in the band 88-108 M.Hz. Performance specifications, particularly for Colour receivers are very important.

The effect of possible interference derived from a V.H.F./F.M. signal disturbing the colour sub-carrier should be particularly studied. For receivers generally there would seem to be advantage if there was a closer control over receiver characteristics and performance to accommodate the overall requirements between the transmitting and the receiving ends of the circuit. There

would also be advantage if Australian receivers were brought more into accord with international performance characteristics. The whole of this question should be studied as a matter of urgency by the Committee recommended in Recommendation No. 7 (paragraph 2.7).





The containment of broadcasting and of other services using contiguous wavebands, within the agreed international bands would provide the following advantages to Australia:

1. Similar services are carried out in similar bands and mutual interferences between service both within a country and between services in various countries are reduced to a minimum.

2. Development of facilities, systems and equipment in any part of the world become applicable all over the world. Techniques are also standardised.

3. The use of equipment on a world wide basis extends the advantages of a nearly universal system to Australia.

4. Special development work is avoided.

5. There is a tendency to reduce both equipment costs and operating costs.

The disadvantages of non-standard usage are:

1. That equipment may have to be developed for a restricted market.

2. That equipment improvements originating in various parts of the world may not become applicable in Australia.

3. That the efficiency of usage of the bands within a country is reduced. This is the case in Australia. For example by suitable engineering there is no interference between T.V. stations in Band 1 and those in Band 3. If however, T.V. stations are retained in Band 2 then there is an appreciable geographical

limitation on the use of these stations and on the use of stations in Band 3. In the interests of the application of international developments and also of the most efficient use of T.V. locations in Australia, there would be appreciable advantage in eventually removing T.V. entirely from Band 2 and

accommodating the service displaced in one of the other internationally used bands for T.V. i.e. Band 1, 3 or 4.

4. The non-standard use in Australia of the Band 88-108 M.Hz. has given rise to a large part of the problem on which we have been called to make recommendations. The introduction of F.M. into the U.H.F. band would also be contrary to international practice and could consequently give rise to similar embarrassment in the future.

5. At the present time special design for receiver and transmitters to meet the requirements of the Australian channels allocation necessarily could increase the costs and delay the introduction of new designs and devices to the Australian market. Much equipment comes into the “special design”

category. This effect will increase with the introduction of colour T.V. On balance, we are firmly of the view that it is to Australia’s overall advantage to move as closely as possible into conformity with accepted international practice.







The Planning of the A.M. Band in Australia has given very large service areas to the stations concerned. Recent investigations by the A.B.C.B. has shown however that the overall service given by A.M. can be improved by a more intensive use of the band. Such increased usage will be obtained by the careful exploitation of factors such as:

1. Appreciable power increases.

2. More accurate synchronising of co-channel stations so as to allow in some instances radiation of common programmes and in other cases, where geographical conditions permit, the radiation of separate programmes with the minimum area of confusion.

3. The increased use of directive transmitting aerials so as to reduce the interference caused by one transmitter into the service area of another.

4. Revision of conditions for the calculation of channel sharing to bring the co­ channel interference requirements more closely into line with conditions established by natural and man made interference both as far as the amplitude and duration of the interference are concerned.

5. Taking into account any modification in channel width that may be agreed or be in practice on an international basis so as to have more channels available for allocation.

6. Consideration of the amelioration which would be obtained if certain channels were made available for a very large number of transmitters operating without restriction other than on agreed maximum power. Developments on these and other associated lines could very appreciably improve the broadcasting services overall and reduce the total expenditure on the introduction of F.M. broadcasting.







The system to be used should be the Pilot Tone system specified in the C.C.I.R. Recommendation No. 450. With the increased high-frequency energy in much of modern programming, the benefits of pre-emphasis have largely disappeared, the reduction of operating levels necessary to avoid for example sideband clipping in F.M. cancelling out much of the theoretical advantage derived from pre-emphasis.

Australian T.V. sound uses 50 microsecond pre-emphasis, as does much of Europe. The U.S. which commenced with 75 microseconds now recognises that this is excessive, and there is discussion on reduction to possibly 25 microseconds (associated with noise reduction systems).

It is thought that F.M. broadcasting in Australia should initially use 50 microseconds pre-emphasis. On the evidence available, and in observation of changes in overseas practice in this direction, it would seem desirable for F.M. transmissions, either at V.H.F. or U.H.F., to radiate signals of mixed polarisation, to improve coverage particularly to vehicle-borne or hand-held receivers.

The only counter argument could be the use of the opposite polarisation to that used in the same area for television could minimise mutual interference. This argument is however not thought to be decisive.

In particular therefore:

(i) The pre-emphasis used should be of 50 microseconds (similar to the value used on the sound channel of Australian T.V. and as used in most of Europe). A close watch should be kept on world practice in this matter and should there be a general move to a lesser value of pre-emphasis, Australia should also reduce the value.

(ii) In order to improve coverage, particularly by vehicle-borne and hand-held receivers, the polarisation of the emissions should be “ Slant” . This imposes no restraint on the receiver aerial.

Provision of facilities for storecasting within standards for F.M. transmissions (S.C.A.) Although there have been no representations to date regarding the use of storecasting techniques by stations operating in the Australian F.M. service it is believed that

requests for this facility may arise in the future. It is felt that the ability to add a pilot carrier for encoding of storecasting type signals should be allowed for. in the F.M. transmission standards. A close watch should be kept on the experimental work now being conducted in Europe on the matter with the aim of an eventual decision on the

standards to be used.

Quadraphonic transmission There is as yet no accepted standard for this transmission nor as yet a general demand for it. The situation should be closely watched. There is an interdependence between the standard for Quadraphony and the standard for Storecasting referred to above.



Quality It would of course be necessary to ensure that no devices which could cause distortion or appreciable modification of the dynamic range were used anywhere in the chain from the microphones to the transmitter audio input.






The duties of the Committee should be to advise the Minister of the Media either in response to a request from him or on their own submission, or any matter affecting the means whereby audio and visual information is made directly available to the public by methods involving electrical signals whether these be transmitted by

broadcasting, wire distribution, satellite broadcasting, cassette type T.V. or any other means. In their consideration of these matters the Committee shall take account of world wide developments and trends. The Committee would meet under an independent Chairman and would include representatives of:

Ministry of the Media Australian Post Office The Australian Broadcasting Control Board Australian Broadcasting Commission The Commercial Radio Broadcasters The Commercial T.V. Broadcasters The Capital Goods Electronic Industries The Consumer Goods Electronic Industries

General Public The Committee would have no executive responsibility.

Technical liaison committee This Committee would review its whole field of activities in the transmission and reception of electrical signals in conveying audio and visual information with a view to ensuring that complementary performance of the various parts of the chain is

achieved. It would as required advise the Consultative Committee on technical matters either on request from that Committee or on its own initiative. It would issue recommendations on matters where co-ordination of performance between the various bodies was required. The membership would choose its own Chairman and

would include representatives of: Australian Post Office Australian Broadcasting Control Board Australian Broadcasting Commission

Commercial Broadcasting Radio and T.V. Receiver manufacturers Receiver Importing Association Capital Goods Electronic Industry.


' -




M.Hz. above 223

M.Hz. above 222-223 —

M.Hz. above 215-222 —

M.Hz. above 208-215 —

M.Hz. above 202-208 —

M.Hz. above 195-202 —

M.Hz. above 188-195 —

M.Hz. above 181-188 —

M.Hz. above 174-181 —

M.Hz. above 144-174 —

M.Hz. above 137-144 —

M.Hz. above 108-137 —

M.Hz. above 101-108 —

M.Hz. above 94-101 —-

M.Hz. above 92- 94 —

M.Hz. above 85- 92 —

M.Hz. above 70- 85 —

M.Hz. above 63- 70 —

M.Hz. above 56- 63 —

M.Hz. above 52- 56 —



a the vicinity of 88-108 M.Hz.

— Allocated to D.M.E. and other services. Not available for T.V.

Part of D.M.E. allocation.

T.V. Channel 11.

T.V. Channel 10.

Space partly occupied by D.M.E.

T.V. Channel 9.

T.V. Channel 8.

T.V. Channel 7

T.V. Channel 6.

Space occupied by other services and not available to T.V.

T.V. Channel 5A—of limited use.

Space occupied by other services and not available to T.V.

T.V. Channel 5—(in the International F.M. Band).

T.V. Channel 4—(in the International F.M. Band).

Allocated to mobile services but very little used because of interference from T.V.

T.V. Channel 3—partly in the International F.M. Band.

Allocated to Fixed and Mobile—possibly could be allocated in part to T.V.

T.V. Channel 2.

T.V. Channel 1.

Allocated to other services.


M.Hz. above 45- 52 — T.V. Channel 0.

M.Hz. above

Below 41 —

41- 4 5 — Internationally allocated to T.V. but not so used in Australia.

Allocated to other services.





Amplitude Modulation is a system in which the amplitude of an emitted radio wave is made to vary in accordance with the audio signal to be transmitted. The waves used in A.M. broadcasting and the vision signals in T.V. are all amplitude modulated.

Benefit-cost Benefit-cost analysis endeavours to compare benefits from projects with their costs in such a way as to iron out difficulties associated with the time-phasing of the project and to take into account alternative uses of the resources involved. The analyst makes estimates of benefits and costs, discounts them back to present values (that is, makes

an allowance for the fact that distant income is valued less by society than present income) and expresses discounted benefits and costs in terms of net benefits or as a benefit-cost ratio for comparison with other specific projects or other opportunities in

general. When proposals are compared on the same basis; the highest index of benefit shows the financially most attractive proposal.

Carrier This is the main wave which carries the signal information be it video or audio. It can be amplitude modulated or frequency modulated.

Sub-carrier This is a subsidiary signal related to the carrier and also may be amplitude or frequency modulated. T.V., stereophony and quadraphony all use sub-carriers, as

does Storecasting (S.C.A.).

Channel This is a part of the spectrum space allocated for transmission of a programme. In T.V. it is at present 7 M.Hz. Channeling in the ways channels are disposed within the frequency spectrum.

Coding system A coding system combines the signals produced in the studio in such a way as to render them suitable for transmission over the air with the greatest economy in spectrum space usage. The decoding system in the receiver restores the signals to the form they had when produced in the studio. Stereophony and colour television signals

are examples of coding and decoding.

Community station This is a station which is primarily intended to serve larger geographic areas or whole communities, run by a licensee using his own financial and technical resources, but not basically for profit.

Discounting The discounted cash flow technique overcomes problems of comparing proposed investment outlays over periods of time. All cash outlays and receipts, flowing during


each time period, are discounted to a common base of present value. This is done by using a selected rate of interest. Discounting gives expression to the facts that outlays made now are more costly than those made in the future, and that gains made now are more highly regarded than gains which are deferred to a later time.


Distance Measuring Equipment for aeronautical use. The D.M.E. in question is unique to Australia which pioneered this service.


Effective Radiated Power is a measure of the power radiated from a transmitter and is expressed in kilowatts. In the A.M. case it is very close to the actual power produced by the transmitter. In the F.M. and T.V. cases it is equal to the actual power of the transmitter multiplied by the gain given by the aerial and reduced by the power losses

in the aerial system.

F.M. Frequency Modulation is a system of radio transmission in which the amount of deviation from the central value of the emitted radio frequency conveys the loudness of the audio signal to be transmitted while the frequency of the audio signal to be transmitted is conveyed by the frequency at which the frequency of the emitted radio wave is varied. The sound signal of a T.V. transmitter is frequency modulated.

Interference Interference is an unwanted effect whereby spurious signals disturb or destroy the wanted signals. In sound it can cause various audible effects and on television patterning of various sorts in the picture. Interference can arise from distant transmitters using the same channel, from electric storms, from electrically operated devices and from spurious signals radiated by radio and television receivers.


One thousand cycles per second.

M.Hz. One million cycles per second.

Multipath An effect arising from the reflection of radio waves from large stationary and moving objects, hills etc., causing more than one signal to actuate the receiver. This causes ghosting on T.V. and can cause audible distortion in Radio.

Pilot tone stereophony This is a system which permits the reception from the same transmission of a monophonic or stereophonic signal. An additional tone outside the audible range is transmitted and is used by the decoder of the receiver to derive the separate left hand and right hand signals which are required for stereophonic reception.

Polarisation Radio waves are propagated in a mode corresponding to the orientation of the transmitting aerial i.e., a vertical aerial emits vertically polarised waves; a horizontal aerial, horizontally polarised waves. A “SLANT” aerial emits waves which have both


a vertical and a horizontal component.

Public access station This is a station in which the transmitter facilities are operated by a central body which leases time on the station to approved applicants with special interests. It may also lease studio facilities and use the facilities for profit making if desired.

Quadraphony This system requires four sets of signals, corresponding for example to the sounds heard in the four corners of a room, to be transmitted. The maintenance of monophonic reception is still required. No international standard yet exists as to how

quadraphony should operate for over the air transmission. Reproduction is from four loud speakers.

Spectrum space For broadcasting this is that part of the gamut of electro-magnetic waves extending from the comparatively low frequencies used for A.M. broadcasting (approximately 500 K.Hz.) up to the highest frequencies used for T.V. (960 M.Hz.).

Stereophony A sound system which transmits two sets of signals (left hand and right hand) so that on reproduction from two suitably placed loud speakers a spatial sense is obtained.

Storecasting (S.C.A.) This is an additional low fidelity signal which can be super-imposed onto the monophonic or stereophonic signal so as to give a low quality output.


This is a band of Ultra High Frequencies (300-3000 M.Hz.). The range (407-900 M.Hz.) is used for T.V. In Australia parts of this band have already been taken into use for other services.


Very High Frequencies (30-300 M.Hz.). In most of the world T.V. is carried in Band I (41-68 M.Hz.) and Band III (174-223 M.Hz.) while Band II (88-108 M.Hz.) is used for F.M. sound. In Australia all three have been used for T.V.