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Media release No. 57 - 26 July 2004
ACA strengthens commitment to broadband initiatives for regional and remote Australia
The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) today confirmed its commitment to improve opportunities for the deployment of wireless broadband services, particularly in regional and remote Australia.
Speaking at the Australian Telecommunications Summit in Sydney, ACA Acting Chairman Dr Bob Horton said the ACA had been closely examining how best to expand opportunities for wireless broadband services over recent months.
"As the result of consultation with the public, carriers and other parties, we are now proposing a package of three wireless broadband initiatives, two of which are aimed specifically at the needs of regional and remote Australia," Dr Horton said.
Dr Horton said the package of initiatives aimed to provide opportunities for operators in different segments of the wireless broadband market, for both small operators and larger carriers alike.
The first initiative includes a proposal to auction spectrum licences suitable for wireless broadband in the 2010–2025 MHz band in metropolitan and regional Australia.
The second initiative is designed to meet the needs of smaller operators in regional Australia who have reported difficulty accessing spectrum suitable for wireless broadband. The ACA proposes to allow operators to acquire licences over the counter for wireless broadband services in regional and remote Australia.
"To discourage hoarding of spectrum and provide an incentive for operators to deploy services in regional areas as quickly as possible, we're proposing that these apparatus licences should contain rollout obligations on licensees," Dr Horton said.
The third initiative involves the 5.8 GHz 'public park' band which is used, under class licensing arrangements, for short-range applications such as radio local area networks and cordless telephones with a maximum radiated power limit of 4 watts.
"We have developed a proposal to allow particular services in this band to operate under apparatus licences at power levels up to 200 watts across most areas of regional Australia.
"The anecdotal evidence from operators suggests that the higher power limit would enable them to significantly reduce the costs of providing wireless broadband in regional areas," Dr Horton said.
All wireless broadband public consultation papers will be released progressively over the coming weeks on the ACA website, under Issues for Comment.
The Australian Communications Authority is a government regulator of telecommunications and radiocommunications