ACMA to allocate new licences for localised wireless broadband


Friday, 28 July, 2023

ACMA to allocate new licences for localised wireless broadband

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is set to allocate a suite of new area-wide apparatus licences aimed at accommodating more local area wireless broadband services in metropolitan, regional and remote areas.

Area-wide licences (AWLs) will be issued through two allocations processes: one in the 3.4–4.0 GHz band in remote areas and one in the 3.8 GHz band in metro and regional areas. Spectrum in these bands is considered ideal for the delivery of wireless broadband services including 5G, private networks and other technologies, with the available AWLs allowing for area-specific use.

The ACMA expects the licences will be taken up by providers of wireless internet services, or for private networks run by organisations such as tertiary institutions, hospitals, mining operators or public transport hubs.

The ACMA invites applications from anyone who is interested in applying for an AWL in remote areas in the 3.4–4.0 GHz band to support the deployment of services. The application window will close at 5 pm AEST on 31 July 2023. More information is available here.

For accessing AWLs in metropolitan and regional areas, the ACMA is currently consulting on the proposed allocation arrangements for the 3.8 GHz band, looking at issues such as pricing, licence tenure and renewal, technical requirements and allocation limits. Submissions to the consultation process can be made by 5 pm on 1 August 2023. More information can be found here.

The ACMA expects that the allocation of these AWLs will support the deployment of new and innovative technology, as well as enhance digital connectivity and investment in diverse regions across Australia.

Finally, the ACMA is seeking public feedback on a proposed process for spectrum licences that are due to expire between June 2028 and October 2032. The Authority is responsible for considering whether to renew these expiring licences and the appropriate arrangements for the affected spectrum. It is also seeking feedback on proposed public interest criteria and approaches to examining use under spectrum licences.

The closing date for submissions to this consultation is COB on 7 August 2023. More information is available here.

Image credit: iStock.com/cherrybeans

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