Bringing a satellite network into use may be defined as the process and activities that lead to a permanent record of a satellite network in the International Telecommunication Union's (ITU) Master International Frequency Register (the MIFR).
A permanent record in this register means that all member states of the ITU have agreed that the network can operate according to the technical characteristics specified. Each member state of the ITU has the sovereign right to establish a record in the MIFR, which is maintained in accordance with the ITU's Radio Regulations. Member states designate particular government departments or agencies, known as Administrations, to represent their interests at the ITU. For the purposes of bringing an Australian satellite network into use, the ACMA is the Australian Administration.
Bringing a foreign satellite network into use in Australia
A foreign satellite network is one that an Administration other than the ACMA intends to bring into use via the ITU, but which may be capable of providing services to places in Australia.
The ACMA is required to authorise the operation of services provided to Australia by foreign satellite networks. The operator or service provider must therefore apply to the ACMA for the appropriate licence.
When an application for a licence is submitted, the ACMA will consider whether the network:
- has been coordinated with Australian radiocommunications services
- is consistent with Australian planning and licensing arrangements: and
- will assess which type of licence is most appropriate to authorise the network.
Bringing an Australian satellite service into use through the ITU
An Australian satellite network is one that the ACMA intends to bring into use on behalf of the Australian public and private sector organisations via the ITU, but which may be capable of providing services within Australia or to other countries.
The steps involved in bringing an Australian satellite network into use are as follows:
- Satellite operator requests the ACMA to file the proposed satellite network with the ITU.
- The ACMA assesses the request in accordance with its published criteria.
- If the request is approved, the ACMA files Advance Publication Information (API) with the ITU.
- The ITU publishes the API in the International Frequency Information Circular (IFIC).
- The ACMA files a Coordination Request ('C' Notice) with the ITU.
- The ITU publishes 'C' Notice in the IFIC.
- Other Administrations advise the ACMA of existing and proposed services that they believe may be affected by the proposed satellite network.
- The ACMA assists the satellite operator to coordinate the proposed satellite network with networks of other countries that may be affected by its operation.
- When coordination is complete, the ACMA files a Notification Request with the ITU and seeks inclusion of the satellite network in the MIFR.
Chart of the coordination process