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$14.5m Grant From Japan To Upgrade Our AM Radio Frequency, Islands Reach

We are all set to modernise our radio broadcasting capabilities and increase access to information in even the remotest islands of the country. This is being done by upgrading the
01 Sep 2015 10:15
$14.5m Grant From Japan To Upgrade Our AM Radio Frequency, Islands Reach
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with the Japanese Ambassador to Fiji, Takuji Hanatani after signing the deal for the project for rehabilitation of the medium wave radio transmission. Photo: Paulini Ratulailai

We are all set to modernise our radio broadcasting capabilities and increase access to information in even the remotest islands of the country.

This is being done by upgrading the existing medium wave AM infrastructure and transmissions.

The project will basically provide improved radio service to the people in the remote maritime areas.

The project has been made possible by the assistance of the Japanese Government in the form of a $14.5 million grant.

The signing and exchange of notes ceremony for the project for rehabilitation of the medium wave radio transmission was held yesterday.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and the Japanese Ambassador to Fiji, Takuji Hanatani, signed the documents.

Mr Bainimarama said we all know the existing infrastructure was not a commercially viable business.

But, he said it has much greater access than our FM broadcasts and is the only way in which they can provide our remote communities with a signal strong enough to carry radio programming.

“Through this upgrade, the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation will be able to provide clearer and more dependable programming to Fijians in maritime areas and improve the overall quality of radio coverage for all Fijians,” he said.

“Indeed, I am told that on a good day this signal could be picked up even in New Zealand.”

Mr Bainimarama stressed Fiji was eager to access the top-of-the-line equipment and technology provided by the Japanese Government.

“Not only are we getting technology capable of reaching the furthest reaches of the country but it will provide the entire nation with a reliable service for many years to come,” he said.

 

The project details

The Japanese ambassador confirmed the project will be implemented under Japan’s Grant Aid Scheme by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

He said the project entails the construction of a new transmission antenna, transmission house, supply of new two 558kHz and 990kHz transmitters.

This will be accompanied with other related maintenance equipment and tools.

Benefits

Mr Hanatani said Fiji and the Pacific Island countries are always vulnerable to unpredictable climatic changes.

“This is where the reach of the AM medium wave radio frequency becomes indispensible,” he said.

“Having countrywide coverage far greater than FM frequency, especially to remote maritime area, AM medium wave radio can save countless number of Fijian lives in times of emergencies and natural disasters.”

Feedback: arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

 

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