Tune-Up furthers discussion on the digital dividend | ACMA

Tune-Up furthers discussion on the digital dividend

Key communications industry stakeholders, ACMA representatives and government officials met in Sydney in November for the Digital Dividend Spectrum Tune-Up.

The popular one-day event was held to discuss some of the pivotal issues that will influence and drive the ACMA's approach to allocating the prized digital dividend spectrum. It formed part of an ongoing ACMA consultation on allocating the digital dividend band, which opened in October 2010.

Delegates attending the Tune-Up heard a range of perspectives from both broadcasters, who currently use this spectrum, and from the mobile telecommunications sector, who are seeking access to the digital dividend band to expand wireless services.

Presentations from the ACMA gave attendees an insight into the steps needed to complete the digital dividend allocation process. These steps, which will be relied on to free up the spectrum, include digital switchover (switching off analog television broadcasts) and restacking current digital free-to-air television channels to make a contiguous block of spectrum available-the digital dividend. The ACMA also briefed delegates on preliminary work in the areas of spectrum configuration, band harmonisation with other Asia-Pacific nations and spectrum auction methods.

Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions, share their views and raise concerns about digital dividend spectrum allocation during formal question and answer sessions. There was also plenty of scope for informal discussions between delegates and ACMA staff throughout the day.

In June this year, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, announced the release of 126 MHz of contiguous digital dividend in the UHF band 694 MHz and 820 MHz.

Following the minister's announcement, the ACMA released its digital dividend discussion paper, Spectrum reallocation in the 700 MHz digital dividend band. The Tune-Up event complemented the discussion paper, which seeks feedback and comments to help guide planning and implementation of the release of the digital dividend spectrum.

'The feedback and comments received in submissions to the discussion paper will be important in helping to guide the ACMA's planning and implementation of the release of the digital dividend spectrum,' said Chris Chapman, Chairman of the ACMA.

'The Tune-Up was also most valuable in encouraging discussion of these issues with stakeholders and allowing an exchange of views.'

Last updated: 15 March 2016