ARCIA Learning Management System coming back online
By Hamish Duff, President, Australian Radio Communications Industry Association
Sunday, 01 May, 2022
It’s mid-2022 and the ARCIA committee has been working hard to get things moving again despite the many challenges we are all seeing. The industry continues to work through supply chain issues. Demand in many sectors is strong; however, uncertain delivery schedules are creating an extra layer of cost and complexity.
Events for ARCIA will have started by the time this is published with Sundowners in Perth and Melbourne; however, main events for Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne are all set to kick off from July. Comms Connect in both New Zealand and Australia will also make a welcome return. Keep an eye on the ARCIA website for event dates and make sure you come along and engage with your industry peers.
The ARCIA Learning Management System is really taking shape and we hope to have meaningful content available soon. Once released we will be working with members to try the system and of course running free and paid courses for the benefit of members. New content is being made including some new ideas that will be interesting to have feedback on.
One of the activities of the committee and especially executive of the association is to advocate for spectrum. Over the last five years, that role has widened for all kinds of technology including broadband. ARCIA believes that all spectrum should be used to maximise the productivity of the country. That is a simple sentence that tries to encapsulate a very complex regulatory process to manage competing industries, international standards and market needs. The LMR industry has been providing private networks for many different market sectors for over 70 years. As far as ARCIA is concerned, the reasons that people invest in private networks remains the same and new technology options are welcome.
Therefore, ARCIA has been consulting widely and putting our views on this matter to the ACMA. We have made it clear that broadband technologies are not the sole domain of public carriers or wide area licences. As other countries have shown, demand for private networks remains strong with spectrum and innovation a key ingredient. Over COVID our federal government has spoken a lot about local manufacturing capabilities and indeed highlighted telecommunications as a key sector for local manufacturing.
So you would think there is a clear logic for spectrum to be made available for a wider benefit, especially with regard to wireless broadband and the economic potential offered by all types of applications. Regrettably, the approach continually encouraged by the ACMA leads to spectrum being prioritised for the public carriers over other types of services!
Finally, ARCIA has spent a lot of time considering our role in the marketplace and work that a lot of people have put into the association. No-one has more work into ARCIA over the last 10 years than Ian Miller. When we recognised that we needed a paid position, ARCIA had to face up to what we wanted to achieve. We found a way to fund it and although Ian has been an extremely effective advocate for our industry, we need to now take the next step to guarantee the ongoing viability of our industry into the future.
We are at the next inflection point in the history of the association. If you consider the technology and spectrum changes as well as the willingness of industry to embrace innovation, ARCIA must get more active across the entire industry. If we include manufacturers, service providers, critical industries, public safety and all the associated technologies involved there is a lot to cover.
Based on this the committee has decided that we should move the Executive Officer part-time role to a full-time CEO role. Of course, there is a huge amount of work to make this happen, to ensure that our industry is represented appropriately and in a fashion that is sustainable financially.
But now is the time to make it happen.
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