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NCA Wins FM Reclassification Case against Multimedia Group and Bell Communications Ltd.

The Court of Appeal, Accra, has on Thursday, 21st October, 2021 unanimously ruled in favour of the National Communications Authority (NCA) in a case brought against the Authority by the Multimedia Group and Bell Communications Limited regarding the NCA’s policy on FM coverage reclassification.

 

In 2012, the NCA conducted an FM spectrum audit and as a result reclassified the maximum coverage for FM stations. The Authority, after an extensive stakeholder consultation, directed commercials FM Operators to reduce their maximum frequency coverage radii from 100KM to 45KM.

 

The Multimedia Group and Bell Communications Ltd., however, filed an action for judicial review against the NCA at the High Court on the matter following the Authority’s reclassification directive.

 

Dissatisfied with the High Court’s dismissal of the said application in June 2019, the two FM authorisation holders filed an appeal against the decision of the High Court to the Court of Appeal.

 

The Court of Appeal, therefore, ruled in favour of the NCA due to the following reasons:

1. The NCA has full legal mandate to undertake the FM Reclassification Policy.

2. There was sufficient evidence of prior consultation with key stakeholders in formulating the Policy.

3. The appellants have failed to demonstrate that the policy on reclassification of frequency coverage was unreasonable and neither have they been able to establish that it was arbitrary.

4. There was no proven grounds to reverse the decision on the High Court on the matter.

 

The 3-member panel of the Court of Appeal therefore dismissed the appeal and awarded a cost of GHS5,000.00 in favour of the NCA.

 

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NCA Wins FM Reclassification Case against Multimedia Group and Bell Communications Ltd.