Despite being ordered off the air by the industry regulator for failure to move its broadcasting tower out of George Town, dms Broadcasting’s Cayrock station continued to broadcast yesterday.
The Information and Communications Technology Authority, which regulates broadcasters, has been trying to get the station to move its tower because it says it is interfering with signals from other FM stations.
On Monday, David Archbold, the authority’s managing director, said Cayrock’s licence expired on Monday night and would not be renewed unless the station moved its tower out of George Town.
He said it would be an offence if the station continued to broadcast without a licence.
Yesterday, Mr. Archbold said he could not comment further on the situation ‘as there is the likelihood of legal proceedings’.
Under the Information and Communications Technology Law, anyone convicted or indicted of operating a radio station without a licence is liable to $50,000 fine and imprisonment of five years. If the offence continues, the offender is liable to further fines of $10,000 for every day or part of a day the offence continues.
The law also states that the authority is required to inform the licensee in writing that it does not intend to renew the licence.
Lawyer Stuart Diamond, dms Broadcastig’s legal representative, said on Monday that the station had not received ‘formal original notification’ of the ICTA board’s decision.
A report released on the regulatory body’s website on Tuesday morning outlined signal problems being experienced by listeners to other FM stations near the Cayrock broadcasting tower at GKF Industrial Park on Eastern Avenue.
It stated that the signal quality rating last Saturday was 2.74, a slight improvement on the result found in October 2008 when there were three stations operating in the area – Cayrock, Heaven 97 and Gospel 88.7. The latter two stations have since moved its broadcasting operations to Newlands. The report stated that this meant ‘Signal is audible, but quality is poor.’
Testing was carried out at six locations in the George Town area on three dates, the latest of which was done last Saturday.
Stations moved broadcasting operations temporarily to George Town after Hurricane Ivan destroyed some permanent facilities in September 2004, but most have now moved to the Newland/Northward area, with Cayrock being the only one still based in George Town.