Spectrum reform consultation launched

Thursday, 18 May, 2017

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The federal government has released a consultation package on spectrum reform that aims to modernise and simplify Australia’s spectrum management framework.

The full consultation package is available at: www.communications.gov.au/what-we-do/spectrum/spectrum-reform.

The package includes:

  • an exposure draft of the Radiocommunications Bill 2017;
  • consultation papers on approaches to broadcasting spectrum provisions and transitional arrangements; and
  • consultation papers on spectrum pricing and Commonwealth held spectrum.

The proposed reforms follow the recommendations of the government’s 2015 Spectrum Review to:

  • replace the current legislative arrangements with new legislation that removes prescriptive processes and streamlines licensing for a simpler and more flexible framework;
  • better integrate the management of public sector and broadcasting spectrum to improve the consistency and integrity of the framework; and
  • review spectrum pricing to ensure consistent and transparent arrangements to support the efficient use of spectrum and secondary markets.

The consultation package has been developed in consultation with the ACMA, which has prepared supplementary material to assist stakeholders in better understanding the exposure draft.

This package enables stakeholders to see how the new legislative arrangements and proposals for spectrum pricing and the management of Commonwealth spectrum might operate together.

The Department of Communications and the Arts will host a series of presentations introducing stakeholders to the spectrum reforms and the consultation package over the coming weeks.

You can register for the presentations (the deadline is 26 May) via this page.

Stakeholder feedback on the exposure draft, broadcasting spectrum provisions and transitional arrangements will be used to finalise a draft of the Bills.

The department has indicated that it will undertake a second consultation process on the legislation.

Feedback received through this process will inform the final Bill provisions prior to introduction into parliament.

Feedback on the package can also be sent to spectrumreform@communications.gov.au.

Image courtesy NIST.

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