Digital television broadcast coverage area—comment on the proposed approach | ACMA

Digital television broadcast coverage area—comment on the proposed approach

Digital television broadcast coverage area-comment on the proposed approach

As part of preparing for the digital dividend auction, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is seeking feedback on the proposed methodology used to generate maps depicting the coverage areas of digital television (DTV) services operating below 694 MHz in UHF channels 49, 50 and 51.

Why is this important to the Digital Dividend Auction?

The technical framework for the 700 MHz band spectrum-licensed band (694-820 MHz) specifies measures to manage interference between DTV broadcasting service receivers and transmitters operating in the 700 MHz lower band (703-748 MHz).

Specifically, under part 3.2(2) of the Radiocommunications Advisory Guidelines (Managing Interference from Transmitters-700 MHz Band) 2012 (the RAG), the ACMA is required to produce maps depicting predicted coverage of DTV services operating in UHF channels 49-51 (673-694 MHz). Within these coverage areas, spectrum-licensed transmitters operating in the 700 MHz lower band are subject to an out-of-band emission limit of -40 dBm/MHz (averaged over 7 MHz) in the frequency range 673-694 MHz, as specified in part 3.2(1)(a). Outside these areas, a less stringent out-of-band emission limit of -34 dBm/MHz (averaged over 7 MHz) applies in the frequency range 673-694 MHz, as specified in part 3.2(1)(b). These out-of-band emission limits are illustrated in Figure 1.

As shown in Figure 1, there is a 9 MHz separation, or 'guard band' between the highest UHF TV channel following the completion of restack (channel 51, upper edge at 694 MHz) and the 700 MHz band (lower edge at 703 MHz).

Figure 1-Illustration of the proximity of the 700 MHz band and the UHF TV band. Overlaid is an illustration of the out-of-band emission limits under parts 3.2(1)(a) (blue), 3.2(2)(b) (purple) and 3.2(2)(c) (red) of the RAG. Dotted lines are only illustrative, and do not correspond to actual power spectral density (PSD) limits.

Is this methodology mentioned in the Radiocommunications Advisory Guidelines (Managing Interference from Transmitters-700 MHz Band) 2012 (the RAG)?

The methodology used to define DTV coverage areas will inform the maps that the ACMA is required to publish under part 3.2(2) of the RAG. However, as the actual methodology is not mentioned in this instrument, any change to this methodology will not affect the instrument.

The RAG is currently in draft form, and is expected to be finalised in late August 2012. A copy of the draft RAG can be found on the ACMA's website in Word version and PDF version.

Prior consultation

The ACMA has consulted on the methodology for calculating DTV broadcast coverage areas through the 700 MHz Technical Liaison Group (TLG). The 700 MHz TLG involved technical experts from the television broadcasting industry, as well as prospective spectrum licensees and equipment manufacturers. The final 700 MHz TLG documents can be found on the ACMA's website.

Your opportunity to comment on the proposed methodology

The ACMA recognises that stakeholders outside the TLG may also have an interest in this matter. Before finalising its view, the ACMA is seeking stakeholder feedback on the proposed methodology used to determine DTV service coverage areas for the generation of maps under part 3.2(2) of the RAG. The proposed methodology can be found in the attached document: Methodology for the definition of DTV service coverage areasIn addition, the ACMA has provided example maps to aid the explanation of the 'maximum server analysis'.  This has been included to aid the interpretation of the methodology but the final format of delivery of the maps has not yet been determined.  The example maps provided correspond to the broadcaster and retransmission DTV services planned to operate post-restack in UHF television channels 49-51, in metropolitan and regional areas.

The 700 MHz TLG documents contain the ACMA's preliminary view on the methodology for the generation of maps under part 3.2(2) of the RAG, as well as generation of exclusion zones under part 4.2(2). For more clarity, the issue of the part 3.2(2) maps is dealt with separately under this consultation process.

Make a submission

The ACMA invites submissions on the issues raised in this informal consultation process. Submissions should be made:

By email: majorspectrumallocations@acma.gov.au

The closing date for submissions is 28 September 2012.

Electronic submissions in Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format are preferred.

Enquires may be directed to Anna Cheung on (03) 9963 6837 or email majorspectrumallocations@acma.gov.au.


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. The ACMA prefers to receive submissions that are not 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 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 or certain other entities 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.

Last updated: 07 March 2017