ACMA seeks feedback on five year spectrum outlook plan

Final plan set for release late 2008

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has released two papers on how to address the critical task of spectrum planning through to the yeaer 2014.

With demand for spectrum set to grow significantly in coming years, the ACMA is seeking to put a framework in place to meet this challenge.

The two consultation papers, Spectrum Management Principles and Five-year Spectrum Outlook, have been released ahead of ACMA's spectrum management conference, to facilitate informed discussion among stakeholders. RadComms08, runs from April 30 to May 2, 2008.

The first document proposes a set of high-level spectrum management principles.

A key theme is balancing the use of market mechanisms with regulatory intervention to maximise public benefit derived from using spectrum.

ACMA's Five-year Spectrum Outlook presents a spectrum demand analysis and indicative work programs for the 2009 - 2014 timeframe.

It consolidates the fundamental issues affecting spectrum requirements of key radiocommunications services and outlines ACMA's preliminary ideas on how to best manage the demand. It also highlights spectrum requirements that may arise beyond 2014.

The five-year outlook is intended to facilitate to discussion on how to change spectrum access arrangements.

ACMA chairman, Chris Chapman, said both documents are designed to increase the transparency, predictability and consistency of ACMA's decision-making in a climate of rapid technological change.

"In light of the increasing demand for spectrum, and the significant planning and allocation decisions to be made over the next three to five years, it is timely to seek industry views about the proposed principles and the nature of the demands for spectrum,' he said.

The two papers are part of a series of consultation documents being released by ACMA in the lead up to the RadComms08 conference.

An Independent Review of Government Spectrum Holdings report (together with ACMA's initial response to the review) and a discussion paper on future options for spectrum replanning in the 400 MHz band are both scheduled for release later this week.

Following feedback, the ACMA expects to release a final version of the Five-year Spectrum Outlook in late 2008.

Chapman said the closing date for comment on both documents is July 18, 2008.

- with Sandra Rossi

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