Chairman's message | ACMA

Chairman's message

Welcome to the Five-year spectrum outlook 2014–18. This edition of the Outlook again reflects the ACMA’s dedication and commitment to ongoing consultation and partnership with industry, the Australian public, government and our international colleagues.

Over this past year, the ACMA delivered on a number of key spectrum initiatives including:

  • the continuation of digital TV restack following digital switchover and reallocation of the digital dividend spectrum
  • continuing to establish new arrangements for both the 2.5 GHz and 400 MHz bands
  • continuing the extensive work program to manage the next tranche of expiring spectrum licences.

Over the past five years, the ACMA has listened to commentary from stakeholders and as a result the content of the Outlook has evolved over this time. This year’s Outlook is different from previous editions. In response to your feedback, we have streamlined the way that the Outlook is presented, to focus on the areas in which stakeholders have indicated particular interest. For example, we have removed the service-by-service analysis, which has previously documented incremental change and provided greater explanation on the ACMA’s environmental scanning processes and how this informs our prioritisation process for spectrum management activities and issues. As in previous years, this edition sets out the ACMA’s view of the future direction of Australia’s spectrum management strategy.

We have also separated the Outlook into three parts, with each part focusing on a different aspect of our approach to spectrum management. Our approach continues to be shaped by our ongoing experiences, observations and evaluation of the spectrum environment, both within Australia and across the global stage.

Part 1 of this year’s Outlook explains how the ACMA uses evidence from the spectrum environment to guide the direction of our spectrum management strategy. It provides information on the ACMA’s decision making process and particular focus is given to the regulatory forward agenda and those issues that will influence the shape of our spectrum management strategy:

  • the government’s deregulation agenda and goal to minimise costs to industry and consumers by cutting red tape
  • the outcomes of the government’s Review of Spectrum Management.

Part 2 leverages the outcomes of our environment scanning and analysis and provides information on the broad process we use to determine key priority areas of regulatory focus for the next 12 month period. Our prioritisation process identifies areas of focus across four broad themes:

    1. maximising the overall public benefit arising from use of spectrum

    2. reducing the cost to business arising from regulation

    3. implementing current reform priorities

    4. ensuring the national interest.

Part 3 sets out the ACMA’s work plans for the next five years in greater detail than ever before. The work plan is set out on an annual basis and explains what the activity is, and when it is expected to be completed.

To manage any possibility of a future spectrum crunch, the ACMA will need to continue to take long-term planning horizons into account, given the long lead times associated with changing uses of spectrum. The ACMA continues to critically evaluate demand and the need for spectrum across all sectors to better understand the complex and dynamic interaction of social, economic and technical factors that drive spectrum requirements.

Your feedback will continue to assist us in delivering our strategic goal: ‘to make communications and media work in Australia’s public interest’. Feedback can be provided to the ACMA via

Thank you for your continuing interest in spectrum management.

Chris Chapman


Last updated: 03 September 2014