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Call for Australia’s ACMA to have resources to handle spectrum reform

Australia’s opposition Labor party has said the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) must be properly resourced to carry out the spectrum reform agenda, pointing towards the lack of preparatory work mentioned in the 2017/18 federal budget, reports ZDNet. The Australian government unveiled its partial draft Radiocommunications Bill 2017 alongside a consultation package on the proposed legislation, spectrum pricing and Commonwealth spectrum holdings after announcing plans to do so back in 2015. Under section 4, the framework for regulating radio communications will be developed and administered by the ACMA. “Ultimately, the ACMA will be responsible for the important and monumental task of designing and developing new spectrum management arrangements," shadow communications minister Michelle Rowland said. “It is concerning that the regulator is expected to prepare for this change on the smell of an oily rag. The 2017/18 budget makes no provision for preparatory work for spectrum review implementation by the ACMA to inform the draft bill. Without proper funding, spectrum reform may suffer in terms of quality or speed.” The legislative changes, if passed, will remove the current ‘prescriptive process’ for spectrum in place of a more flexible framework; integrate and improve the consistency of public sector and broadcasting spectrum; and review the pricing of spectrum. The key components of the framework are radiofrequency plans; licences and spectrum authorisations; certified operator requirements; interference management and complaint resolution; regulation of equipment; accreditation of persons; and delegation. “However, while recognising that the reform is in response to technological changes and different uses for spectrum since the previous Act was brought in during 1992, the consultation package does not make mention of provisions for spectrum specifically for internet of things use cases, despite the ACMA previously emphasising these as important issues on its 2017 agenda.” Read more

  • Monday, 22 May 2017

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