As part of its remit and in accordance with Section 57(1) of the Telecommunications Act (TKG) the Bundesnetzagentur must satisfy the coverage requirements for broadcasting of the Bundesländer and must bear in mind the interests of the broadcasting sector. This article provides an overview of this and other possibilities of using the frequencies of the broadcasting service. A brochure comprising all the information given below may be downloaded by clicking here.

Frequency use for broadcasting in the Länder's sphere of responsibility

In Germany, the responsibility for broadcasting is split between the Bund and the Bundesländer. The Bundesländer are responsible for content for which the frequencies are used and for supervising the organisers of broadcasts. The Länder's activities are laid down in state legislation and in agreements such as the Interstate Treaty on Broadcasting (RStV).

Before being able to disseminate broadcasts, it is hence necessary to undergo various telecommunications and broadcasting-related procedures which are outlined below.

Under the provisions of the Interstate Treaty on Broadcasting private broadcasters need a permit for broadcasting as specified in state legislation. The state media authorities issue the permits and monitor the private broadcasters. Whosoever wishes to disseminate private broadcasts hence requires authorisation by the media authorities of the state in which the programmes are to be broadcast. A link to the Association of regulatory authorities for broadcasting for further information and contact details is given below. These authorities will also furnish information about the exact procedures required under state legislation.

Upon successful completion of the state procedure the state authority notifies the Bundesnetzagentur of the coverage requirements for broadcasting. The Bundesnetzagentur satisfies the requirements by selecting the most eligible applicant for transmitter operation and assigning a frequency. Under Section 55(1) of the TKG the Bundesnetzagentur is bound to assign frequencies in non-discriminatory manner on the basis of transparent and objective procedures. The collateral conditions for the frequency award proceedings in broadcasting are defined in the Administrative Rule on the Frequency Award Proceedings in Broadcasting (VVRuFu). An up-to-date version of this Rule may be retrieved by clicking on the following link.

Administrative Rule Broadcasting Frequencies (pdf / 368 KB)

As part of the frequency award procedure all the Länders' coverage requirements and suitable frequencies are published in the Bundesnetzagentur's Official Gazette. Any interested transmitter operator may submit an application for frequency assignment. If several applications are received, the Bundesnetzagentur launches a tendering procedure in accordance with Section 55(9) in conjunction with Section 61(6) of the TKG. The relevant tendering documents have been specified by the President's Chamber in General Administrative Order 33/2008. This Order may be retrieved by clicking on the following link.

General administrative order (pdf / 224 KB)

Other usage possibilities

Under Section 55 of the TKG each frequency usage requires prior frequency assignment by the Bundesnetzagentur. Frequencies are assigned subject to their designation for the planned frequency use in the Frequency Usage Plan, their availability and their compatibility with other frequency usages. To a limited extent broadcasting frequencies may also be used for other purposes. These are provided for in the VVRuFu--AdministrativeRule. Specifically, usages during particular events or on-site applications are feasible.

The frequency may have to be coordinated, depending on the technical parameters envisaged, to avoid technical malfunctions in other frequency usages. National and possibly even international coordination may be required. Under Sections 142ff of the TKG fees and contributions are payable for any administrative acts carried out by the Bundesnetzagentur.

Contact points

The Bundesnetzagentur's Service Centre 5 "Broadcasting" (DLZ) will answer any questions which may arise and is responsible for processing the applications.

In Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria

Außenstelle Nürnberg - Standort Schwäbisch Hall
Einkornstraße 109
74523 Schwäbisch Hall
Tel.: 0791/9424-0
Fax: 0791/9424-180

In Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland

Außenstelle Eschborn
Elly-Beinhorn Straße
65760 Eschborn
Tel.: 06196/965-0
Fax: 06196/965-180

In North Rhine-Westphalia

Außenstelle Dortmund
Alter Hellweg 56
44379 Dortmund
Tel.: 0231/9955-0
Fax: 0231/9955-180

In Lower Saxony, Hamburg, Bremen, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-West Pomerania

Außenstelle Hannover
Willestraße 2
30173 Hannover
Tel.: 0511/2855-0
Fax: 0511/2855-80

In Berlin, Brandenburg, Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony

Außenstelle Leipzig
Max-Liebermann-Straße 81
04157 Leipzig
Tel.: 0341/999-60
Fax: 0341/999-6180

State media authorities

Please contact the local state media authorities if you have any questions concerning the dissemination of your programmes over frequencies, cable installations or satellite. Click here to find the state media authority you should contact: Landesmedienanstalt.

Further information (in German)

link to the Telecommunications Act
link to the Frequency Fee Ordinance
link to the Ordinance concerning Contributions for the Protection of Interference-Free Frequency Usage

Date of modification: 2012.01.20