The government is planning to issue 34 new radio licenses, the majority of which will go to lower-power radio stations, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday.
Based on the commission’s plan, three licenses will be reserved for operators offering national FM broadcasting service, nine for medium-power FM radio stations and a remaining 22 for low-power FM radio stations.
The commission said that one of the three national broadcasting licenses is to be granted to the highest bidder in the auction.
The two other licenses are for two national broadcasting networks that were previously owned by the Broadcasting Corp of China, which were used to broadcast anti-communist propaganda.
The commission said that these two licenses would be reserved for the Council for Hakka Affairs and the Council of Indigenous Peoples, which had expressed an interest in offering national broadcasting services.
Commission spokesperson Yu Hsiao-cheng (虞孝成) said operators interested in obtaining licenses for low-power radio stations need to pass a review before they can qualify for the draw.
Those interested in obtaining licenses for medium-power or national broadcasting licenses must also pass a preliminary review before bidding for licenses.
Yu said the commission had initially planned to issue licenses for about 100 low-power radio stations, but many observers complained that would be too many for the market.
The commission finally decided to issue fewer licenses for national, medium-power and low-power radio stations.
“We hope low-power radio stations will team up to bid for the medium-power station licenses, so they can return their lower-power radio station licenses,” Yu said.
“The same principle applies to medium-power radio stations,” the spokesperson said.
Yu said the plan has yet to be approved by the Executive Yuan.