The Court of Appeals in Accra, has 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 area for FM stations. The Authority, after an extensive stakeholder consultation, directed commercial 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 authorization holders filed an appeal against the decision of the High Court to the Court of Appeals.
The Court of Appeal, therefore, ruled in favour of the NCA with 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 failed to demonstrate that the policy on reclassification of frequency coverage was unreasonable, and they were also unable to establish that it was arbitrary.
4. There was no proven grounds to reverse the decision of the High Court on the matter.
The 3-member panel of the Court of Appeals therefore dismissed the appeal and awarded a cost of GHS5,000.00 in favour of the NCA.