Australia plans to introduce legislation this year to modernise its spectrum management and move towards a government goal of implementing a single licensing framework.
The government recently announced the results of reviews on spectrum pricing and government-held spectrum which Mitch Fifield, minister of Communications and the Arts, said will pave the way for a more efficient and transparent spectrum management framework.
Key recommendations of the reviews include developing pricing mechanisms to ensure the value of spectrum is optimised and increasing the transparency of pricing frameworks. The reviews also call for consolidating tax legislation to support the move to a single spectrum licensing framework and creating a whole-of-government approach to managing the country’s spectrum holdings, supported by establishing an advisory committee comprised of relevant government agencies.
Fifield said in a statement on the ministry’s website: “These reviews are one component of the most significant reforms to Australia’s spectrum management in the last 25 years.”
He said the government aims to introduce a package of radiocommunication bills to parliament sometime this year.
The recommendations will be implemented by the Department of Communications and the Arts, with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) as the independent regulator.
After extensive consultations with the industry, ACMA announced in October 2017 it would start to reallocate spectrum in the 3.6GHz band and move to more efficient arrangements in the 900MHz band to prepare for 5G broadband services.