Having committed various infractions, the National Communications Authority (NCA) has sanctioned a total of 131 FM Authorisation Holders.
This act, on basis of Section 13 of the Electronics Communications Act (2009), the NCA having acted on Act 775 has shut down 34 radio stations across the country and leaving 97 others with revoked licences.
According to the NCA, this act gives the Authority the mandate to take such action if “(a) the licence or the authorisation holder has failed to comply materially with any of the provisions of this Act, Regulations or the terms and conditions of its licence or frequency authorisation (b) the licensee or the authorisation holder has failed to comply materially with a lawful direction of the Authority, (c) the licensee or the authorisation holder is in default of payment of a fee or other money, charged or imposed in furtherance of this Act, the National Communications Authority Act, 2008 (Act 769) or Regulations (d) the licensee ceases to (i) operate the public communications network, (ii) provide the public electronic communications service, or (iii) use the frequency band.”
Out of the 34 stations whose licence have been revoked, 21 were as a result of their inability to renew their licence years after it had expired and their failure to respond to notices by the NCA to address the issue.
The remaining 13 FM Broadcasting stations had their authorisations revoked as they had failed to renew their licences for years since it expired and they were operating illegally but they, however, responded to the NCA’s queries requesting for extension of time, a situation the NCA found “unacceptable and declined”
According to the NCA, “the actions of the affected radio stations go against the Authorisations issued them before commencement of work. The validity period of the Authorisations are for a 5?year period, effective from the date of the Authorisation, and renewable 3 months prior to its expiration through any of the eight offices of the NCA nationwide.”
Some FM stations whose licence have been revoked are Hello FM 101.5 MHz, Kapitol Radio 97.1MHz both in the Ashanti Region, Denkyembour 95.3MHz in the Eastern Region and in the Volta Region, Star FM 95.1MHz Hope FM 93.1MHz.
The NCA notes that some 97 broadcast stations are also in breach of the Act but they “responded to an earlier notice requesting them to regularise their operations. However, they have been fined as per the category of infractions and pursuant to the NCA’s gazetted Schedule of Penalties. The fines range from GHC50,000.0 to GHC61,000,000.00 depending on the infraction and the duration the infraction persisted.”
In the Greater Accra region, XYZ Broadcasting Ltd, Osu has been fined GHC4,090,000, Atinka FM GHC14,800,000, Pravda Radio Ltd (Vision 1) GHC3,340,000, Atlantis Radio GHC60,350,000, Radio Gold GHC61,330,000 as per the category of infractions.
Other stations that are to pay penalties across the country include Radio Progress in Wa, Holy FM and Light FM in Volta Region, Space FM and Ahenfo Radio in Brong Ahafo Region and Fox FM and Boss FM in Ashanti Region among many others across the country.
These authorised 131 FM stations were sanctioned after the NCA found out they had committed various infractions pertaining to their legitimate operations as contained in Section 13 of the Electronics Communications Act (2009), Act 775 after it had completed a Nationwide FM spectrum Audit.
This was done to determine compliance of authorisation holders and to ascertain which stations were in operation and which weren’t and the conditions under which they operated.
It forms part of the ongoing audit of all services regulated by NCA including TV and ISP services.