Two-way radios are an essential resource for many businesses that help enhance their ability to operate efficiently. To meet the demand of their use, you might find yourself in the business of selling or renting two-way radios.
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Under the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (the Act), every radiocommunications device must be authorised for operation by a spectrum licence, an apparatus licence, or a class licence.
When supplying these radios it is good practice to inform the customer of any radiocommunications licensing requirements.
Generally, two-way radios can operate under:
Communication companies who supply two-way radios to customers for use on worksites will often have pre-programmed frequencies into these radios. These frequencies are generally licensed to that supplier and cannot be operated under any class licence issued by us. In the past we have found that customers often use the rented or purchased two-way radios without any knowledge of the requirements of written authorisation, including the requirement that they comply with the restrictions that apply to the land mobile licence that they’re operating under.
If you are a supplier and decide to sell or rent two-way radios with your licensed frequency pre-programmed into the radio to a customer, you must give your written authorisation to that customer. This can even be in the form of an invoice or rental agreement. To help your customer comply with the conditions of your licence, you should disclose the following information (including but not limited to):
what frequencies they can use
the duration of the authorisation
the location where they can use the radios
any other licence conditions that must be met
If your customer uses the two-way radio outside of the restrictions of your licence, then they will be operating an unlicensed radio, which may cause interference with other radios or a radiocommunications service. As the licensee, you may be liable if the radio interferes with other radios or a radiocommunications service. And more importantly, it could risk lives.
We have investigated and fined a number of land mobile licensees as a result of the substantial interference caused by persons authorised under their licence.
The consequences for selling or renting two-way radios without written authorisation or failure to maintain proper records of the written authorisations may be serious due to the range of civil and criminal penalties under the Act that could apply. These penalties are per offence, so you may receive multiple fines if a number of people are authorised under your licence. It adds up quickly!
Where you supply a two-way radio without the proper written authorisation (including supplying the necessary information to the customer), you may also be liable for breaches of other Australian laws, for example the Australian Consumer Law, or subjected to other civil litigation by the customer or other affected third parties.
Check the Register of Radiocommunications Licences on our website or speak with us before you rent or sell on 1300 850 115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: this is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Independent legal advice pertaining to your individual circumstances should be sought where required or appropriate.