Swiss Radio Day: New division of roles between Bakom and private radio stations

The division of roles between the Federal Office of Communications and the private radio stations is being turned upside down. Bakom is withdrawing as the planning authority.

The radio stations are now playing a "planning, shaping role". In future they will look after frequencies and reception quality themselves, as Nancy Wayland Bigler said on Thursday at the Swiss Radio Day 2012 in Zurich. The new Bakom deputy director spoke of a paradigm shift.

Bakom devotes itself to core tasks

In future, Bakom would concentrate on its core tasks: It is the arbiter and guardian of Swiss interests vis-à-vis other countries. And it will continue to be responsible for processing applications. An acceleration of the process is planned here.

Bakom examines applications for compatibility with the existing frequency network and the applicable media policy requirements. If an application is approved, the radio licence is granted immediately. According to Wayland, this innovation applies immediately. If the application shows deficiencies, the applicant may now only make one further improvement. If necessary, however, a new application can be submitted, according to Wayland.

Opening of frequency database

In the course of the new distribution of roles, Bakom will open its frequency database to the public at the end of the year. It will be made available on the Bakom website, Wayland told the news agency SDA. Bakom, on the other hand, will keep its planning tools to itself. These will not be made available to third parties. However, Bakom will continue to be available in an advisory capacity.

Only the change in the awarding of concessions will come into force immediately. The other changes - "moderate, planned adjustments" - would be introduced gradually at the beginning of 2013. Towards 2019, when the current licences expire, thought will have to be given to the future of FM. (sda)

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