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The Australian Narrowcast Radio Association (ANRA) is the peak industry body representing Low Power Open Narrowcast (LPON) Radio services and the High Power Open Narrowcast (HPON) Radio services located across all States and Territories of Australia.


Our membership includes major Narrowcast radio program providers such as the TAB, foreign language groups, fringe music services, tourist and religious services, and smaller operators including private individuals.


  • ANRA represents the interests of narrowcast operators.

  • ANRA maintains the standards and integrity of the narrowcast industry through the Code of Practice.

  • ANRA makes submissions and representations on behalf of its members to the regulatory bodies on matters affecting narrowcasting.

Do you operate a narrowcast radio service?  You are invited to Join ANRA.


Narrowcasting is a category of Australian broadcasting which was created with the passage in 1992 of the Broadcasting Services Act.


The term “narrowcasting” describes a radio or television service whose reception is limited in some way, such as being targeted to special interest groups, being intended for limited locations (for example, arenas or business premises), being provided during a limited period to cover a special event, to provide programs of limited appeal, or for some other reason.


Failure to comply with the limitations applying to narrowcasting can expose the service provider to penalties for providing a broadcasting service without an appropriate licence. The penalty for providing a commercial radio service without an appropriate licence is $220,000.

Because the limitations applying to narrowcasting are not precisely expressed in the Broadcasting Services Act, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has issued clarification notices and guidelines to assist in establishing whether or not a service or proposed service falls into the narrowcasting category. Alternatively, a person who is providing or who proposes to provide a service may apply to ACMA for an opinion (on payment of a fee) as to which category of broadcasting service the service falls into. The opinion is valid for 5 years and, provided the service continues as originally described, protects the service provider from any action on the basis that the service is not a genuine narrowcast service.


Narrowcasting services may be either open (free to air) or subscription (made available on payment of a fee). Unlike commercial or community broadcasting services, narrowcasting services do not require a broadcasting service licence under the Broadcasting Services Act. A narrowcasting service operates under what is called a “class licence”, which is a standing authority to provide such a service.


While in theory anyone may obtain a class licence to provide a narrowcasting service, actually getting to air is not so simple. To be a narrowcaster it is also necessary to obtain a transmitter licence. The availability of transmitter licences depends partly on the availability of radio-frequency spectrum, which is often scarce. Consequently transmitter licences for narrowcasting services are allocated by ACMA under a “price based allocation system”, ie by auction.


Approximately 300 high power and 2000 low power open narrowcast services are presently licensed to operate in Australia.



Under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, each section of the broadcasting industry is required to develop codes of practice, in consultation with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). A further requirement is that members of the public must be given an adequate opportunity to comment on the codes. 

The Codes are subject to review every three years. In the fourth such review, which concluded in 2011, the Codes were amended slightly to include or improve provisions relating to privacy, advertising standards and the handling of complaints.  

The updated Codes have been accepted and registered by ACMA and may be viewed by clicking the link below:

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