ARCIA 2021 events discussed

Australian Radio Communications Industry Association

By Hamish Duff, President, Australian Radio Communications Industry Australia
Monday, 26 April, 2021



ARCIA 2021 events discussed

ARCIA is looking forward to many face-to-face events this year as we begin to ramp up our program out of COVID lockdowns. We have made the decision to commit to industry training, and events are starting to be organised. ARCIA would like to thank all the people who are contributing to the effort to get this all happening.

The plan is to offer industry-based training aimed at basic concepts to begin with and as we build up content and interest move to more complex industry topics.

ARCIA has also started a separate training fund to assist paying for content creation and other costs associated with training. This is only possible because of the kind donations by life members of the association starting with Stan Goodwin. Stan really wanted to find a way of giving back to the industry; helping to train people in all things LMR is the perfect way.

For all ARCIA members and industry professionals, please engage with the team and training events. We need your people to be trained and feedback is essential to improve the program over time. We have also had some interest from groups wishing to have the training done in situ and that may be possible in some circumstances.

ARCIA has had informal discussions with the ACMA earlier in the year on a number of topics. A date has been set for the introduction of the new Radio Communications Act, which we believe will come into force from 17 June 2021. The new Act is described as evolutionary rather than revolutionary and we expect that any short-term impacts to industry will be minimal. There will also be a move away from industry standards to ‘equipment rules’, which will be simpler and reflect international standards.

There was also discussion about having better access to specific information on the ACMA website that is sometimes difficult to find. ARCIA will look for ways to share what we think are relevant links on the ARCIA website.

Good to see some action on the Public Safety Mobile Broadband plan. The industry supports all action to improve public safety communications. The press release contained the sentence “to replace UHF LMR communications”; however, that seems to go against current trends. With recent public comments about support for PROSE and LTE direct mode it seems like LMR will be around for some time to come.

Simply providing network coverage for all the bushfire prone areas is a daunting prospect for any technology. ARCIA believes that a range of technologies will be required to meet the needs of public safety for the foreseeable future.

While the economy is rebuilding it seems that most industry providers are busy and that projects are moving ahead. The resilience of the communications industry highlights the importance of communications to all the things that keep the lights on.

Planning is underway for the ARCIA annual gala dinner in Melbourne in October. We think the theme for 2021 should be a welcome back party after the last 18 months of lockdowns. So mark your calendars and plan your trip to Melbourne for Comms Connect and the largest industry event of the year.

Hamish Duff

President

Australian Radio Communications Industry Association

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