87.8 UCFM

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87.8 UCFM
87.8 UCFM Logo.jpg
City Bruce, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Broadcast area Canberra
Branding 87.8 UCFM
Slogan Canberra's Alternative
Frequency 87.8 MHz FM (2009-)
First air date 10 August 1994 (1994-08-10) (as CUE FM)
Format College radio
Language(s) English
Transmitter coordinates 35°14′17″S 149°05′01″E / 35.2380°S 149.0835°E / -35.2380; 149.0835Coordinates: 35°14′17″S 149°05′01″E / 35.2380°S 149.0835°E / -35.2380; 149.0835
Former frequencies 87.7 MHz FM (1994-2008)
Owner University of Canberra Student's Association Inc.
(UCFM C/o University of Canberra Union)
Webcast .mp3 stream
Website UCFM

87.8 UCFM (ACMA callsign: 1A12) is the University of Canberra's own student radio station. The UC station is run entirely by current and former students, broadcasting its professionally consulted College Radio music & news format - 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The radio station's studios are located on the lower level of "The Hub" on the university's Bruce campus, in Australia's capital city - Canberra.

UCFM transmits from the top of the university's Building 8 (The Library) on FM 87.8 MHz across the entire District of Belconnen and North Canberra. A slightly weaker signal can be heard throughout Canberra, although the hilly terrain of the national capital interferes in some areas. The radio station also streams its on-air program continuously online through links located on its website, Facebook page and TuneIn.

87.8 UCFM is an official member of "UC Clubs and Societies", part of the University of Canberra Union (UCU), who also owns the radio station's narrowcast licence. UCFM however receives little, to no funding and operates purely through the hard work of student and alumni volunteers. The radio station refers to itself on-air as "Canberra's Alternative" taking pride in its point of difference of providing its 18- to 40-year-old listeners a non-stop, commercial free blend of Top 40 Pop/ Indie / Alternative music, broadcasting only a very small amount of non-intrusive advertising, on the rare occasion, to cover operating costs.

UC students & staff, past and present are eligible to become involved in all areas of the radio station. For many students UCFM provides an important stepping-stone from years of study to a professional media career after graduation. In recent years UCFM volunteers have totally rebuilt the station's studios, transmitting equipment and on-air content extending its popularity to include many Canberra listeners outside of the University. On 10 August 2014, the station celebrated its 20th year of broadcasting.

Controversy from the Australian Communications and Media Authority[edit]

Unlike many other Australian university campus radio stations, the University of Canberra's UCFM does not transmit on a full Education Broadcast licence and numerous applications for a full upgrade have been refused by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. Despite UCFM's established two decades on-air in Canberra, the broadcast governing body neglected to reserve and offer UCFM a suitable frequency for a full Education Community Licence in the Canberra Licence Area Plan. The ACMA instead showing preference to allocate the scarce FM radio spectrum frequencies to existing ABC, SBS and Commercial Radio licence holder's second transmitters in the Tuggeranong Valley, as well as the establishment of newer niche Community FM stations dedicated to the Arts, Multiculturalism and Religion.

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