Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Class H License Submission, the reply from the powers above.

MOOD:  I don't know:
Blah, well here we are nearly at the end of September, and at last the weather is starting to suit my wardrobe.  The worst kept secret of Sydney Radio is out, 2PR FM's license submission was a total white-wash; it was an absolute emphatic NO from the powers above.

In 2005 I started gathering material, documentation, papers, essays, notes, and articles.  Next came arranging everything into a chapter by chapter structure with notes detailing why there should be a Class H license.  The researched documentation was used to support my arguments.  The submission even contained a proposed form for ACMA for interested applicants to fill out.  Everything was prepared right down to the smallest detail, so much to the point that both parts to the submission totaled 500 pages.  

With the rather apathetic reaction, you can only imagine how guttered I felt.   One is often tempted to write with emotion over reason when receiving such news, hence why there has been a long absence in writing.  Being aware of the circumstances, the last thing I wanted to write was a diatribe. 

So straight to the point without any fluff, this is what happened.  It actually came out of the blue as I was expecting a phone call, rather then a letter. 

The letter I dreaded came on Monday 6th August, I can't remember the circumstances, but I think I was out with friends that afternoon.  I remember coming back into my unit that evening, opening a yellow envelope from the Department of Broadband and Communications.  I didn't know what to expect, my head was spinning.  This is what seven years of work was adding up to.  I had a quick shower, scanned the documents, and then sent them through skype.  This was a special moment; I wanted to share this moment with my closest friends.  Remember at this point I still hadn't read the letter yet.

The call finally starts on Skype, and my friend successfully receives the scanned letter from the Department of Broadband and Communications.  After asking him to read it aloud, there was a rather ominous silence, and then he started reading.  When it came to the part of the letter noting that my license submission didn't even receive any consideration, it seemed everything slowed down.  You know the kind of slow down when kids mess around with a tape-recorder.  It wasn't just his voice though, it was everything.  My body started feeling like it was rapped in very course sand paper, my clothes started feeling rubbery, my hair had a gooey sensation, and my face felt like paper, I started feeling sick, sick in the gut, and nauseas in the head.  He continued reading the rest of the letter, but I was now only just barely holding on to my sanity.  My friend got to the end, and enthusiastically said, "That sucks, that really sucks".  At this point I was lost for words, and my mind was in shut down.  I could hear his words, but nothing was entering my head anymore.  I said to him that I didn't want to be rude, but I had to go, I wasn't feeling well.  He understood and we both hung up.  

That night I fell into a rapid depression. Though I certainly didn't expect things to go to a blue-print inside my head, I was open to compromise.  The most hurtful part was that there weren't any tangible suggestions from the department.  There wasn't even a "We can't grant you a Class H license, but we can do this, or have you looked into that, we can assist with such and such".  There was absolutely nothing.  The letter doggedly noted, "There are no plans to change this" as in regards to the government's broadcast license regime.   There wasn't any form of budging, not an inch nor even a millimeter.

After a week or so I started writing a reply.  Being very aware of my moods, my reply letter was definitely going to go through several revisions and some proof-reads from my family and friends. My state of mind was not the best, and I didn't want to come across as belligerent or arrogant.  Yes, I was as mad as hell, but lashing out was not going to help my case.  So my efforts went back to researching my submission.  With the help from others, I was able to construct a very good reply that was concise, to the point.  I felt that it answered all of the department’s relevant concerns without going into a rant.

On a somewhat positive note, I did have a telephone conversation with an officer about a week after the department's reply.   Despite being further down in the department hierarchy, he seemed to of understood my frustrations.  He definitely had a genuine sense of wanting to assist where possible, he seemed to of understood my situation, and was the first to comment on the amount of work I placed into my submission.  The conversation was cordial and friendly.  With this in mind, I feel that I may at least have some rapport with someone inside Broadband and Communications.   

With our reply letter now in the hands of the department of broadband and communications, we have a faint hope that they may be a change of heart, but seriously thinking the reality of the situation, I doubt it.  In the history of 2PR FM we've been through times like this before, and we've always come out, so I guess it's a case of battening down the hatches for awhile, we will find a solution to this, we have to!

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