Dealing with the issue of frequency clashing
Since 2012 December, Radio Active CR 90.3 MHz in Bangalore has been dealing with the issue of frequency clash with Ramana Dhwani. Although both the stations have repeatedly written to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, no action has been taken to rectify the issue yet.
Pinky Chandran, Director, Radio Active believes that the time has come for the government to think of a comprehensive frequency allocation plan. She feels that there has to be more frequencies reserved for community radio stations.
A clear cut mapping must be done because there are multiple frequencies allocated especially in the urban sector that leads to frequency clash which creates problems. Valuable content is lost when a station is getting cross channeled. So, it is important for the government to take a stand, do the proper mapping, increase the bandwidth and reserve more frequencies for Community Radio Stations.
Unless the issue of frequency allocation is not comprehensively understood, Community Radio Stations will continue to be on the receiving end face the embarrassment of getting cross channeled which is not only detrimental to the proper functioning of the Community Radio but also hampers its seamless functioning.
Frequency clashing also leads to a Community Radio Station drifting away from its dedicated listener base thus undermining the loyal audience which supports a Community Radio. These kinds of issues, if not resolved, put the station in a very disadvantageous situation in terms of its popularity.
With frequency clashing becoming a regular problem, there is an obvious demand for an institutional mechanism to resolve all kinds of issues related to the same and the complaints arising thereof. There is a need for a system which immediately responds to such grievances arising not just from the rural areas but also from the urban localities.
If signal strength of the Community Radio station is taken into account before allocating frequencies it shall certainly go a long way in avoiding complications regarding frequency clash. Moreover, the remedial measures could be such that they de-clutter the bureaucratic path to seek solution to this problem instead of compounding it and making the entire process a big put off for the operators of the Community Radio Station.
Pinky Chandran is the Director of Radio Active Community Radio 90.4 MHz