05/05/2006 11:20

Catholic Radio Network of Papua New Guinea

Brief History

The Catholic Radio Network of Papua New Guinea (CRN PNG) was established by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Island (CBC PNG & SI). The Commission for Social Communication of CBC PNG & SI has done visibility studies and through their deputy bishop obtained the necessary funding.

In October 2002 Bishop Bonivento approached Religious Television Association to help with establishment and running CRN PNG. After discussion a contract was agreed to be drafted which would enable RTA to established and manage the operation of the Network for at least 2 years.

In May 2003 the Annual General Meeting of CBC PNG & SI agreed on engaging RTA for the management of the establishing the CRN PNG.

9th of May 2003, Pangtel, a licensing body of PNG Government approved a community radio license for CRN PNG and gave green light to commence a test broadcast.

3rd July 2003, the first transmitter was set up at Malmaluan EMTV Tower in Rabaul and the test broadcast of the National Catholic Youth Pilgrimage to Vunapope and Rakunai was covered live on radio (FM91.30).

6th of July 2003, the youth mass at Rakunai went live on FM91.30 in Rabaul. A small team of 5 personnel of RTA managed to keep the station 24 hours a day for a week.

!3-19th of August, a second test broadcast in Rabaul co-inside with 25th anniversary of Archbishop Karl Hesse.

30th of August 2003, FM103.50 transmitter in Port Moresby is switched on.

3rd of September 2003, Satelitte link is switched on and we commence live broadcast to Rabaul.

October 2003, we commence broadcast in Aitape on FM92.90 and Vanimo on FM91.50. Pangtel approved our first AM frequency for Vanimo SW 4.960Mhz. The same time Trinity FM of Archdiocese of Mt Hagen broadcasts on 98.10 FM and relays most of CRN programs.

2004 Diocese of Lae established their own studio and FM transmitter on 103.70.
Divine Word University with help from Religious Television Association set 103.50 FM covering Madang Town and nearby villages. Also Porgera Parish purchased 50W transmitter andrelay CRN signal in Porgera township on 103.50 FM.

2005 Lihir Mine decided to switch CRN-PNG signal on one of their free transmitters 101.00 FM.
We've got message from Oil Search that they put us on 98.10 FM in Kutubu. Most recently transmitter went to air in Buka on 103.50 FM.

October 2005 CRN-PNG Board of Directors decided to entrust CRN-PNG to Radio Maria. The time of change over is yet to be decided. Although the contract between CBC and RTA was never signed RTA faithfully has continued to keep CRN-PNG on air. The costs of operation of East Boroko RTA/CRN studios were met by RTA but the satelitte link is paid by Socom / Diocese of Vanimo.

November 10th 2006 bp Bonivento had authorised EMTV to switch off CRN transmitter at Burns Peak in Port Moresby and diconnect satelitte link to other diocesan relay stations. The staff running CRN learnt about it only from EMTV technicians. This way CRN ended service to the Catholic Church of Papua New Guinea.

Heritage of CRN is being continued by The Voice of Blessed Peter ToRot.