GNBA grants radio licences to several broadcast agencies
The Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA) yesterday issued radio licenses to several broadcasting agencies for the period ended 2016.
These are the National Communications Network, National Television Network Radio, Radio Guyana Incorporated, iRadio Incorporated and Wireless Connections.
Licensing for 2017 will be done in compliance with the new amendment of the Broadcasting Act which came into law on September 7, 2017.
According to the Chairman of the Guyana National Broadcasting Board, Mr. Leslie Sobers, “The new Act, which amends the 2011 Act, has some provisions in it that were not there before. For example, the Broadcasting Zones…so where a broadcaster would have access to any part of the country and could have reached into parts of the country, where a small broadcaster would be operating in and could not reach back to the area from which he is operating, but both having to pay the same base fee. That was somewhat unreasonable and unfair to the small broadcaster.”
The amendment of the Act, he said, sought to correct that.
The zones now level the playing field “for example the primary zone we have for radio we have $2.5 million and then as you move in to the secondary zones it is reduced by half and when you go into the tertiary zone it is reduced even further and the same happens for television and cable,” the Chairman explained.
For television, the Primary zone will be 1.2 million per annum, the secondary zone is 600 thousand dollars and the tertiary zone is 300 thousand dollars.
“The points I just raised will determine how we do the licensing for 2017 the Act having come into force in September. So are we going to prorate from January to September under the old act and then from September to December under the new act, or are we just going to use one fee for 2017 and we start fresh from 2018 those are the two considerations before the board which we will decide upon at our next board meeting.”
In relation to fears expressed by several agencies about the new Act, Sobers assured that no action by the GNBA Board will violate any constitutional right, nor curtail anyone’s freedom of expression, nor their freedom to receive or to disseminate information.
Today’s activity was the first licensing activity by the new board and according to Sobers, they are working issuing licenses.
Article by: Department of Public Information ( DPI)