- Broadcast license
A broadcast license is a specific type of spectrum licence that grants the
licenseethe privilege to use a portion of the radio frequencyspectrum in a given geographical area for broadcastingpurposes.
Licensing is typically performed by government agencies, providing a mechanism both for managing the
limited resourceof radio frequency spectrum and for implementing prevailing public policy, such as policies regarding concentration of media ownership.
Management of technical
specifications, such as those implemented in broadcast television systems, is normally undertaken as a part of broadcast licensing in each country. Various radio bands carry different radio signals, such as videoand audio, digital and analog, narrowbandand broadband, and different types of content, and are therefore licensed differently.
Licensing is also different for
public radioand public television, and for community radioand community television, as compared to commercial applicants and licensees.
Originally, broadcast licences were issued for only a nominal payment, but work by economist
Ronald Coasedeveloped an economic theorythat broadcast licences in a spectrum that was limited had high economic value, which could and should be paid for on the open market. Increasingly, spectrum licences are offered via spectrum auctions, however this fails to consider non-commercial educationalusers, which are shut out of the process unless steps to ensure their fair consideration are taken.
The sale of licenses, with the
profits going to the seller instead of the licensor, also implies some sort of ownership of the airwaves by the licensees — when in fact the spectrum, like light, air, and water, are inherently public propertyas a matter of the laws of physics, and broadcasters are only paying to rent it.
The broadcast license typically specifies the following information at minimum:
effective radiated power
height above average terrain
directional antenna radiation pattern
Additionally, they often specify the following:
*operating hours for
transmitter power output
broadcast auxiliary services
radio antennabrand and model
*additional service authorizations (
subcarriers, digital radio)
Some countries also specify
radio formator genreof television programming, in order to ensure diversity.
Australian Communications and Media Authority[http://www.acma.gov.au http://www.acma.gov.au]
* Radio Spectrum Management New Zealand [http://www.rsm.govt.nz/ http://www.rsm.govt.nz/]
Ofcom"United Kingdom" [http://www.ofcom.org.uk/ http://www.ofcom.org.uk/]
Federal Communications Commission"United States" [http://www.fcc.gov/ http://www.fcc.gov/]
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