On 23 May 2014, the Minister for Communications announced a review of the spectrum policy and management framework. Established in 1992, the current framework led the world in how it dealt with the complexities of spectrum management. But today, more than 20 years later, the fast changing nature of technology has dated the framework. It needs to be modernised to reflect changes in technology, markets and consumer preferences that have occurred over the last decade and to better deal with increasing demand for spectrum from all sectors.
The purpose of the review is to examine what policy and regulatory changes are needed to meet current challenges, and ensure the framework will serve Australia well into the future.
In line with the Government's deregulation agenda, the review is seeking to simplify the framework. This will make it easier to administer as well as increase accessibility and reduce compliance costs for users. The review will consider opportunities for reducing regulation and non-legislative reform approaches where possible.
The Minister's media release can be found here:
The terms of reference for the review can be found here:
Call for comments on the issues paper
As a first step, the review sought stakeholder comments on the issues to be considered under each of the terms of reference. A short issues paper was prepared setting out the issues from the perspective of the Department. It can be found here:
Comments on the list of issues, including suggestions to add, amend, remove and prioritise issues, were scheduled to formally close on Friday 20 June 2014. However, the spectrum review team has received a number of requests for an extension to this deadline, and will accept submissions or comments beyond this deadline.
Process and Timing
The review will be run by the Department of Communications, working closely with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
The review will consult intensively with stakeholders during 2014. There will be opportunities for stakeholder participation in the review process through calls for comments, meetings and workshops. Summaries of workshops will be published on the Department's website.
The review expects to report to the Minister in 6-9 months from commencement.
Sign up for email notifications about the review
The Department looks forward to receiving your input during the review.
To sign up for notifications about input opportunities and to keep up with the progress of the review, email [email protected] with the subject 'SUBSCRIBE'.
You can also follow the Department on Twitter for review-related notifications.
During 2012/13 the Spectrum Square website gave interested stakeholders and the general public the opportunity to participate in spectrum policy development by commenting on short policy papers published on the site and raising and discussing spectrum issues on the blog. The archived Spectrum Square site can be found on Pandora:
Although the Spectrum Square website has been archived, the review will draw on submissions received through the Spectrum Square website. Four non-confidential submissions were received and can be viewed below:
- NSW Government Telco Authority (PDF, 181.4 KB)
- Police Federation of Australia (PDF, 787.0 KB)
- Telstra (PDF, 3.4 MB)
- Victoria Police (PDF, 184.3 KB)
The discussion papers released through Spectrum Square are also available below:
- Enabling regulatory amendments (DOC, 167.0 KB)
- Enabling regulatory amendments (PDF, 775.8 KB)
- Priority review of the spectrum band use (DOC, 165.5 KB)
- Priority review of the spectrum band use (PDF, 431.3 KB)
- The spectrum management framework (DOC, 172.0 KB)
- The spectrum management framework (PDF, 779.6 KB)
- The objects of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (DOC, 297.5 KB)
- The objects of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (PDF, 910.3 KB)
- The role of secondary markets for spectrum (DOCX, 180.4 KB)
- The role of secondary markets for spectrum (PDF, 188.6 KB)
- Facilitating secondary markets for spectrum (DOCX, 190.2 KB)
- Facilitating secondary markets for spectrum (PDF, 36.5 KB)