Notice for the digital dividend auction | ACMA

Notice for the digital dividend auction

On 19 March 2013, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy gave a direction, titled the Australian Communications and Media Authority (Spectrum Licence Allocation–Combinatorial Clock Auction–Eligibility Deadline and Payment Terms) Direction 2013 (the Direction), requiring that the ACMA:

  • not notify a winning bidder under subsection 6.8(1) of the Radiocommunications (Spectrum Licence Allocation- Combinatorial Clock Auction Determination) 2012 of the balance of the bidder’s winning price before:
  • if any of the spectrum licences to be issued for the parts of the spectrum allocated to the bidder has a commencement date of 1 October 2014—19 August 2014; or;
  • otherwise—1 October 2014.
  • extend the date of the eligibility deadline for the auction from 21 March 2013 to 28 March 2013.

As a result of the Direction, the ACMA has revised the eligibility deadline from 11.59 pm on 21 March 2013 to 11.59 pm on 28 March 2013. It has also revised the auction commencement date from 16 April 2013 to 23 April 2013.


In accordance with section 4.4(2) of Part 4 of the Radiocommunications (Spectrum Licence Allocation—Combinatorial Clock Auction) Determination 2012, the ACMA has published a notice giving details of changes on its website. 

The post below has been updated on 20 March 2013 to incorporate the changes outlined in the notice. The changes made to this post are listed here for ease of reference.

In accordance with section 4.4 of the Radiocommunications (Spectrum Licence Allocation-Combinatorial Clock Auction) Determination 2012 (the determination), the ACMA is publishing a notice for the digital dividend auction.

Spectrum to be auctioned

The ACMA will allocate the following frequency ranges as spectrum licences through a single auction commencing on 23 April 2013:

  • 703-748 and 758-803 MHz (the 700 MHz band)
  • 2500-2570 and 2620-2690 MHz (the 2.5 GHz band).

For the 700 MHz band category, there is one product containing nine generic lots. Each lot consists of 10 MHz in paired configuration (2×5 MHz), with a block of 5 MHz in the upper and lower parts of the band separated by 55 MHz, which includes a 10 MHz mid-band gap (748-758 MHz). The mid-band gap is not available in the auction.

Each of the nine lots in the single 'national' product will provide for coverage across one nationwide region covering all of Australia, excluding the Mid-west Radio Quiet Zone (RQZ).

For the 2.5 GHz band category, there are 11 products, each containing 14 generic lots. Each lot consists of 10 MHz in paired configuration (2×5 MHz), with a block of 5 MHz in the upper and lower parts of the band separated by 120 MHz, which includes a 50 MHz mid-band gap (2570-2620 MHz). The mid-band gap is not available in the auction.

Each of the 11 products provides for coverage across a discrete area within Australia. The 11 areas in which each of the 14 lots are available are:

  • eight metropolitan areas-ACT, Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney
  • two regional areas-Regional East Australia, Regional Western Australia
  • one remote area-Remote Australia, which covers the rest of Australia, but excludes the Mid-west RQZ.

For an explanation on the terms 'products' and 'lots' please refer heading 2.2 of the Auction guide.

How the auction will be conducted

The auction will be conducted online using the combinatorial clock auction (CCA) format and in accordance with the procedures set out in the determination.

The CCA is a price clock-based auction format used to sell multiple items in a single process. Auctioning the 700 MHz and 2.5 GHz bands in a single CCA process will allow bidders to bid on packages of spectrum across the two bands.

How to participate in the auction

The ACMA is inviting interested parties to apply to participate in the auction.

To help prospective bidders prepare for the auction, the ACMA has published the Applicant information package (AIP). The AIP sets out the spectrum on offer and provides detailed information on how the auction will be conducted.

The AIP can be accessed here.

The key dates for parties interested in applying to participate in the auction are as follows:

  Event Date
 1 The ACMA advertises auction, publishes the Applicant information package and applications open. Thursday 3 January 2013
 2 The ACMA publishes lot ratings, dollar value of initial eligibility points, initial (reserve) prices and eligibility nomination form. Thursday 3 January 2013
 3 Application deadline. By this date, applicants will need to:
>     submit a completed application form
>     submit a completed deed of acknowledgement form
>     submit a completed deed of confidentiality form
>     pay the application fee.
11.59 pm on Thursday 24 January 2013
 4 The ACMA gives each applicant details about the identity of all other applicants and their associates, and asks each applicant to make a statutory declaration about whether they are affiliated with another applicant. After application deadline
 5 Deadline for statutory declarations requested under event #4. Not less than five working days after request
 6 Deadline for any new applications submitted by applicants whom the ACMA has notified that it is satisfied are affiliated. Not more than 10 working days after notification
 7 First mock auction held to familiarise prospective bidders with the auction system. To be announced
 8 The ACMA notifies applicants about the supplementary bid limit it has set. No later than Thursday 14 March 2013
 9 Eligibility deadline. By this date, applicants will need to:
>     lodge a completed eligibility nomination form
>     make an eligibility payment, provide a deed of financial security or do both.
11.59 pm on Thursday 28 March 2013
 10 The ACMA tells registered bidders that they have been registered and may participate in the auction, and gives them information to enable their participation (e.g., information about how to access and use the online auction system). After eligibility deadline
 11 The ACMA notifies registered bidders about the start date and time of the first clock round in the auction. No later than Tuesday 9 April 2013
 12 Second mock auction held to further familiarise registered bidders with the auction system. To be announced
 13 Auction begins. Tuesday 23 April 2013

A person who has applied for registration as a bidder may only withdraw from the auction before the eligibility deadline, by written notice given to the ACMA. An applicant who has withdrawn will not be readmitted to the auction.

Applicants who withdraw from the auction will remain subject to the confidentiality provisions in the allocation determination until after the end of the auction period. Withdrawn applicants will not be refunded their application fee, but will be refunded any eligibility payment they have made to the ACMA.

The ACMA will make a range of bidder support and training events and material available to prospective bidders during the lead-up to the auction, including mock auctions, a screencast demonstration and a bidder tutorial.

Indicative dates for these events are shown in the auction timeline. The ACMA will confirm details with prospective bidders closer to the time.

Reserve prices, lot ratings and dollar value of eligibility points

The ACMA has set the reserve prices, lot ratings, dollar value of eligibility points and published the eligibility nomination form. Click here for more information.

Keeping informed about updates

Updates about auction developments and events will be released through the ACMA's engage website. The ACMA will notify stakeholders of any updates via the e-bulletin. Interested parties can sign up to this free e-bulletin  on engage.

How to contact us

Questions about the auction can be directed to the ACMA's Allocations Liaison Officer by:

Telephone: (03) 9963 6837
Fax: (03) 9663 7693
Allocations Liaison Officer
Major Spectrum Allocations Section
Australian Communications and Media Authority
Level 44, 360 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

Last updated: 12 April 2019