Dialled in to new frequency

SUCCESS: Alexandrina Council mayor Keith Parkes, back left, congratulates Alex FM's Diane Gibson, David Fleming, Robyn Spear and Kevin Wilson on the transition.

SUCCESS: Alexandrina Council mayor Keith Parkes, back left, congratulates Alex FM's Diane Gibson, David Fleming, Robyn Spear and Kevin Wilson on the transition.

Radio Goolwa Alex-FM has made a successful transition to a new frequency as the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) prepares to discontinue use of the AM radio band for public and commercial broadcasting.

Having completed a week-long trial from June 23 with no hiccups, the Goolwa community radio station's official transition from 96.3 to 91.5 occurred on Tuesday, June 30.

Station chairman David Fleming said all public and commercial AM broadcasting was moving to the FM band, and as a result, stations had to change their frequency.

"In order to accommodate various commercial and public stations in the FM bandwidth, it has been deemed necessary to change the FM frequency currently allocated to some community radio stations. This is in order to prevent possible interference between stations using the same or close-to frequencies," he said.

Local station 5MU is one of the commercial broadcasters switching from AM to FM to keep on the region's airwaves, but Mr Fleming said there was not a suitable FM frequency for 5MU which would not interfere with other stations due to the "strength of their signal transmission".

He said ACMA identified the 96.3 frequency as suitable for 5MU and decided moving Alex-FM to an alternative frequency was the only option to keep 5MU operating.

Now Alex-FM finds itself at home on the 91.5 frequency.

"The change does not, in any way, impact the coverage of the broadcast range of Alex-FM, nor our function as a community radio broadcaster," he said.

"Alex-FM has been involved with negotiations with 5MU, who have offered considerable assistance in both operational and financial areas, to ensure the transition to our new frequency does not burden the station or its members in any way."

Alex-FM will broadcast on 96.3 for four weeks to give listeners time to adjust to the change before 5MU takes over the frequency.