Proposed changes to 3.4 GHz spectrum licence technical framework | ACMA

Proposed changes to 3.4 GHz spectrum licence technical framework

IFC 62/2014—18 December

The Proposed changes to 3.4 GHz spectrum licence technical framework issue for comment has now closed.

Submissions Received

The consultation period closed on 6 February 2015. The ACMA received 5 submissions.

Based on submissions received, the ACMA has also developed a response to submissions paper.

Background

The ACMA sought comment from interested stakeholders on proposed changes to the technical framework for the 3425–3492.5 MHz and 3542.5–3575 MHz (3.4 GHz) band.

The ACMA reviews the technical frameworks for a spectrum-licensed band as the licences in the band approach expiry. Existing spectrum licences in the 3.4 GHz band are due to expire on 13 December 2015. The intention is that an updated technical framework will apply to any reissued or reallocated licences in the 3.4 GHz band from 14 December 2015. The review helps to ensure the framework remains current and is capable of managing interference across the tenure period of a spectrum licence, which may be up to 15 years.

A consultation paper provides detail on the proposed amendments to the framework. The paper and the related legislative instruments proposed to be amended as part of the review of the band’s technical framework are listed below:

Document Word
Consultation paper: Expiring spectrum licences—technical framework for the 3.4 GHz band 320 KB
Attachment A: 3.4 GHz Spectrum Licence Band Arrangements 226 KB
Attachment B: Draft spectrum licence 84 KB
Attachment C: Draft section 145(4) Determination 108 KB
Attachment D: Draft RAG—Managing interference from spectrum-licensed transmitters 66 KB
Attachment E: Draft RAG—Managing interference to spectrum-licensed receivers 49 KB

In parallel to consultation on the revised 3.4 GHz spectrum licence technical framework, the ACMA is also consulting on the draft new RALI MS39 Frequency Coordination and Licensing Procedures for Apparatus Licensed Public Telecommunications Services in the 3.5 GHz Band. RALI MS39 contains adjacent band protection requirements for fixed and mobile broadband for spectrum licensees to consider when deploying services and is referenced in Attachment D Draft RAG—Managing interference from spectrum-licensed transmitters of the consultation paper.

The ACMA develops a technical framework for each spectrum-licensed band. A spectrum licence technical framework is the collection of technical and regulatory conditions applicable to the use of radiocommunications devices in spectrum-licensed bands. The purpose of the technical framework is to define the technical conditions and constraints by which a device may be deployed and operated within the specified geographic area and frequency band of the licence.

Although the technical framework is optimised for technologies or services most likely to be deployed in the band, it is intended to be technology-flexible. This means licensees can operate any type of radiocommunications device for any purpose, provided they comply with the technical framework relevant to the licence.

The frequency range 3425–3492.5 MHz and 3542.5–3575 MHz (the 3.4 GHz band) is currently allocated via the issue of spectrum licences in various regional and metropolitan areas. Existing spectrum licences in the band are due to expire on 13 December 2015. The ACMA reviews the technical frameworks for a spectrum-licensed band as it approaches expiry. This helps to ensure the framework remains current and is capable of managing interference across the tenure period of a spectrum licence, which may up to 15 years.

Effective consultation

The ACMA is working to enhance the effectiveness of its stakeholder consultation processes, which are an important source of evidence for its regulatory development activities. To assist stakeholders in formulating submissions to its formal, written consultation processes, it has developed Effective consultation—a guide to making a submission. This guide provides information about the ACMA’s formal written public consultation processes and practical guidance on how to make a submission.

Publication of submissions

In general, the ACMA publishes all submissions it receives, including any personal information in the submissions (such as names and contact details of submitters). The ACMA prefers to receive submissions which are not claimed to be confidential. However, the ACMA accepts that a submitter may sometimes wish to provide information in confidence. In these circumstances, submitters are asked to identify the material (including any personal information) over which confidentiality is claimed and provide a written explanation for the claim. The ACMA will consider each confidentiality claim on a case-by-case basis. If the ACMA accepts a claim, it will not publish the confidential information unless authorised or required by law to do so.

Release of submissions where authorised or required by law

Any submissions provided to the ACMA may be released under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (unless an exemption applies) or shared with other Commonwealth Government agencies under Part 7A of the Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005. The ACMA may also be required to release submissions for other reasons including for the purpose of parliamentary processes or where otherwise required by law (for example, under a court subpoena). While the ACMA seeks to consult submitters of confidential information before that information is provided to another party, the ACMA cannot guarantee that confidential information will not be released through these or other legal means.

Privacy

The Privacy Act 1988 imposes obligations on the ACMA in relation to the collection, security, quality, access, use and disclosure of personal information. These obligations are detailed in the Australian Privacy Principles that apply to organisations and Australian Government agencies from 12 March 2014.

The ACMA may only collect personal information if it is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to, one or more of its functions or activities.

The purposes for which personal information is being collected (such as the names and contact details of submitters) are to:

  • contribute to the transparency of the consultation process by clarifying, where appropriate, whose views are represented by a submission
  • enable the ACMA to contact submitters where follow-up is required or to notify them of related matters (except where submitters indicate they do not wish to be notified of such matters).

The ACMA will not use the personal information collected for any other purpose, unless the submitter has provided their consent or the ACMA is otherwise permitted to do so under the Privacy Act.

Submissions in response to this paper are voluntary. As mentioned above, the ACMA generally publishes all submissions it receives, including any personal information in the submissions. If a submitter has made a confidentiality claim over personal information which the ACMA has accepted, the submission will be published without that information. The ACMA will not release the personal information unless authorised or required by law to do so.

If a submitter wishes to make a submission anonymously or use a pseudonym, they are asked to contact the ACMA to see whether it is practicable to do so in light of the subject matter of the consultation. If it is practicable, the ACMA will notify the submitter of any procedures that need to be followed and whether there are any other consequences of making a submission in that way. 

Further information on the Privacy Act and the ACMA’s privacy policy is available at www.acma.gov.au/privacypolicy. The privacy policy contains details about how an individual may access personal information about them that is held by the ACMA, and seek the correction of such information. It also explains how an individual may complain about a breach of the Privacy Act and how the ACMA will deal with such a complaint.

Last updated: 24 March 2015