Before operating a satellite network | ACMA

Before operating a satellite network

Before you operate a satellite network that transmits to places in Australia, you must be licensed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA). There are different steps to follow if you are using an existing network or setting up a new one.

Satellite networks already coordinated

If you want to use an existing satellite network that has already been licensed and coordinated by the ACMA or another member organisation of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), then authorisation simply involves getting the right licence.

First you have to determine whether your network is operating from an Australian or a foreign space object.

The ACMA regulatory framework for operating space services in Australia is based on whether the space object is Australian or foreign. The ACMA can only regulate foreign space objects over their use of Australian spectrum.

New satellite networks

If you want to establish a new satellite network, the ACMA will need to file the technical details of the network with the ITU on your behalf. The technical characteristics of the network then need to be coordinated with other members of the ITU.

Before you can start operating a new Australian satellite network, you need to file an application with the ACMA, and undertake the following steps:

  1. Meet the ACMA’s assessment criteria. Before it can file details of a proposed satellite network with the ITU, the ACMA needs to assess whether it meets the necessary criteria.

  2. Meet other requirements as described in the "Australian procedures for the coordination and notification of satellite systems" ('manual procedures').
  3. Work with the ACMA to coordinate the network with other administrations.
  4. Apply to the ACMA for the relevant licence to authorise the network.

Last updated: 16 April 2019