Digital dividend auction - 700 MHz and 2.5 GHz lot configuration
As part of preparation for the digital dividend auction, the ACMA is considering how spectrum in the 700 MHz and 2.5 GHz band subject to reallocation will be divided into lots for sale.
The process of dividing spectrum for sale into lots, according to frequency and geographic area, is referred to as 'lot configuration'.
On the 1 November 2011, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (the Minister) made a Spectrum Re-allocation Declaration. The declaration set out that:
- the frequency bands 703-748 and 758-803 MHz in the 700 MHz band are to be reallocated as spectrum licences; and
- the frequency bands 2500-2570 and 2620-2690 MHz in the 2.5 GHz band are to be reallocated as spectrum licences.
The ACMA has responsibility for reallocating a substantial amount of spectrum (a total of 90 MHz in the 700 MHz band and 140 MHz in the 2.5 GHz band).
One of the decisions the ACMA must make in preparing for the auction is how to divide up this reallocated spectrum into a number of 'lots' to ensure a fair and competitive auction process, and with the aim of moving the spectrum to its highest value use.
Purpose of this preliminary consultation process
The purpose of this preliminary consultation process is to seek information and views from stakeholders (particularly prospective auction participants) as to the most appropriate lot configuration for the digital dividend auction.
The ACMA has not yet formed a view on a preferred lot configuration for the auction. The feedback provided by stakeholders during this informal process will help inform the ACMA's draft marketing plan for the auction.
To assist stakeholders in commenting on lot configuration, the ACMA has prepared:
- An overview of general lot configuration issues, to provide context and background (Attachment A [943 kb]);
- A series of lot configuration 'scenarios', to illustrate some examples of different ways the spectrum could be packaged for sale (Attachment B [1.1 mb]); and
- A series of questions noted below for stakeholder consideration relating to the lot configuration scenarios.
Please note that the scenarios presented are not an exhaustive list, and should not be taken to represent an ACMA view as to its preferred configuration. They simply represent some of the possible configuration options open to the ACMA, as the basis for discussion and feedback from stakeholders.
Also note that market area boundaries used in these scenarios are indicative only. Depending on feedback from stakeholder engagement, the ACMA may conduct further research on the exact location of these geographic boundaries.
Stakeholders should also be aware that while the ACMA has not varied the minimum frequency of lots in each band for each scenario, the ACMA is happy to consider alternative frequency options brought to our attention through the process of stakeholder engagement.
Questions for stakeholder consideration
The ACMA is interested in your views with regard to bandwidth and geographic market areas
Specifically, the ACMA invites comment on:
- the benefits and drawbacks of each scenario;
- whether stakeholders have a preferred lot configuration scenario for the 700 MHz and 2.5 GHz bands? Note that the preferred lot configuration scenario does not need to be the same for both bands.
- whether there are any future technological developments that might impact on the lot configuration scenarios presented; and
- whether the ACMA should be considering other lot configuration scenarios? If so, what other scenarios should be considered?
How the ACMA proposes to engage on lot configuration
Prior to finalising a marketing plan, the ACMA is providing stakeholders with several opportunities to provide input to the issue of lot configuration.
Firstly through this preliminary consultation process, which runs from 21 November - 2 December 2011.
You can submit an online response by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact the ACMA prior to 2 December to request a bi-lateral meeting. Contact Anna Cheung on Ph: (03) 9963 6837, or email email@example.com.
There will a second opportunity to provide feedback through the draft marketing plan, which is due for release (for formal consultation) at the end of February 2012. Subscribe to our e-bulletin for notification about the formal consultation process.