Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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Notices & Notifications as made
This notice revokes the Radiocommunications (Spectrum Designation) Notice No. 1 of 1998.
Administered by: Communications
Exempt from sunsetting by the Legislative Instruments Regulations 2004 Sch 3 item 32
Registered 29 Jun 2013
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR12-Nov-2013
Tabled Senate12-Nov-2013
Date of repeal 02 Feb 2014
Repealed by Division 1 of Part 5A of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

 

Radiocommunications Act 1992

Acts Interpretation Act 1901

 

 

Radiocommunications (Spectrum Designation) Notice No. 1 of 1998

Instrument of Revocation No. 1 of 2013

 

 

Issued by the authority of the Minister for Broadband, Communications

and the Digital Economy

 

 

Authority

 

Subsection 36(1) of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (the Act) provides that the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (the Minister) may, after consultation with the ACMA, give to the ACMA a written notice designating a specified part of the spectrum to be allocated by issuing spectrum licences. Subsection 33(3) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 provides the Minister with the power to repeal, rescind, revoke, amend, or vary any instrument made under the powers delegated by the Act.

 

Purpose

 

The purpose of this Notice is to revoke the Radiocommunications (Spectrum Designation) Notice No. 1 of 1998 (the Designation Notice).

 

Background

 

The Designation Notice, made on 14 January 1998 by the then Minister for the Communications, the Information Economy and the Arts under subsection 36(1) of the Act, designated the frequency band between 27.5 GHz and 28.35 GHz (the 28 GHz band) throughout Australia as part of the spectrum to be allocated by issuing spectrum licences. The notice provided that the frequency band includes the higher but not the lower number.

 

Spectrum licences in the 28 GHz band are currently issued to AAPT Ltd (AAPT) and NBN Co Ltd (NBN Co) and expire on 31 January 2014.

 

Review of the 28 GHz band

 

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) has undertaken a review of the 28 GHz band.

 

In January 2013, the ACMA released the discussion paper, Review of Licensing Arrangements in the 28/31 GHz Bands (The Consultation Paper). The Consultation Paper reviewed the spectrum management arrangements in the 28 and 31 GHz bands and put forward a preliminary view that a reversion from spectrum to apparatus licensing would be the most high value use of the bands. The purpose of the Consultation Paper was to stimulate discussion and gather information from stakeholders to assist the ACMA in determining the most appropriate licensing arrangements in the bands in the future.

 

The Consultation Paper stated that the technical framework for spectrum licences in the 28 GHz band was optimised for Local Multipoint Distribution Services (LMDS). However, this technology has not been widely deployed either in Australia or internationally, which the ACMA believes has contributed to underutilisation of the band.

 

This Consultation Paper satisfied the requirements of subsection 36(4) of the Act; that is, before the ACMA may make recommendations to the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (the Minister) proposing such a revocation, the ACMA must give members of the public reasonable opportunity to make representations to the ACMA about such a recommendation.

 

After the release of the Consultation Paper, the ACMA received ten submissions from interested stakeholders. The majority agreed with the ACMA’s view that licensing arrangements in the 28 GHz band should change from spectrum to apparatus licensing. The ACMA also consulted with the incumbent spectrum licence holders, seeking their views on the future of the spectrum licences. NBN Co did not oppose a reversion to apparatus licensing provided continuity of service could be assured. AAPT sought partial retention of spectrum licensing arrangements in metropolitan areas in the 28 GHz band.

 

The ACMA considers the best utilisation of the 28 GHz band is to revert to apparatus licensing, following the expiry of the existing spectrum licences. International spectrum allocation suggests there is growing demand to use the 28 GHz band for fixed services and fixed satellite services (FSS). It is the ACMA’s view that site-specific apparatus licensing allows for a more varied and cost-effective use of the 28 GHz band than area-wide spectrum licensing.

 

The ACMA acknowledged the arrangements sought by AAPT but believed the benefits expected from a nationwide reversion to apparatus licencing in the 28 GHz band outweigh AAPT’s preference for partial retention of spectrum licensing. Further, the ACMA believes it will be able to provide continuity of service to incumbent licensees and that apparatus licences can be issued which authorise the kind of area-wide services that AAPT intends to deploy.

 

In accordance with section 36(3) of the Act, on 3 May 2013, the ACMA recommended to the Minister that the Designation Notice be revoked. The Minister has accepted the ACMA’s recommendation and issues the accompanying Notice under subsection 36(1) of the Act.

 

It is anticipated the ACMA will work with incumbent spectrum licensees to develop appropriate arrangements for continuity of service and develop arrangements to enable other apparatus licences to be issued in the 28 GHz band.

 

Statement of compatibility with human rights

 

This statement of compatibility is prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

 

The Notice revokes the designation of the frequency band between 27.5 GHz and 28.35 GHz (including the higher but not the lower number) as part of the spectrum to be allocated by issuing spectrum licences. The Notice has been issued after consultation with the ACMA, determining that the most appropriate and high value use of the band is through apparatus licensing rather than the current spectrum licences, which expire 31 January 2014.

 

The Notice is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011. It does not engage any of the applicable rights or freedoms and does not raise any human rights issues.


NOTES ON SECTIONS

 

 

Section 1 – Name of instrument

 

Section 1 provides that the name of the Instrument is the Radiocommunications (Spectrum Designation) Notice No. 1 of 1998 Instrument of Revocation No. 1 of 2013.

 

Section 2 - Commencement

 

Section 2 provides that the revocation instrument commences on 1 February 2014, being the day after all spectrum licences issued in the 28 GHz band expire.

 

Section 3 – Revocation

 

Section 3 provides for the revocation of the Radiocommunications (Spectrum Designation) Notice No. 1 of 1998.

 

Section 4 – Cessation

 

Section 4 provides that the revocation instrument ceases to have effect to have effect as if repealed by another instrument on the day after it commences.