WLAN operators face carrier licence requirements

Wireless LAN operators may be subject to Australian Communications Authority (ACA) carrier licence regulations following the release of a new set of guidelines.

According to the ACA, the new information package is designed to educate operators on WLAN “issues” such as licensing requirements, new developments and security risks.

“The issue of whether an operator is required to hold a carrier licence is a very important question that must be answered correctly to ensure that operators comply with the existing licensing rules,” ACA chairman Tony Shaw said.

The guidelines state that an owner of a network unit used to supply a carriage service to the public must hold a carrier licence unless an exception applies. The wireless network “may be exempt” from the licence if it is used exclusively for non-commercial purposes or the services are supplied in a single place.

ACA’s reasons for releasing the package relates to an upsurge in the use of wireless access systems by small businesses and hobbyists using spread spectrum radio communications equipment, which has generated increasing interest in this area of communications.

The information pack is available on the ACA Web site.

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