- 1Open for comment09 Jul 2019
- 2Consultation closed09 Aug 2019
On 12 September 2019, the ACMA made the proposed changes to amateur licence conditions. These changes took effect on 21 September 2019. The Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Amateur Licence) Determination 2015 and the Radiocommunications (Overseas Amateurs Visiting Australia) Class Licence 2015 have been updated to include the changes.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has conducted a review of licence conditions that apply to amateur radio operators with Foundation, Standard and Advanced level qualifications.
The amateur service is a longstanding user of the radiofrequency spectrum, with a range of bands made available for qualified amateurs. It is designed primarily to facilitate hobby radiocommunications and technical experimentation.
In the Draft five-year spectrum outlook 2019–23 (the draft FYSO), the ACMA indicated it would commence consultation on potential changes to amateur licensing conditions by June 2019.
Our review considered various requests for changes to licence conditions in submissions made by amateur peak bodies—the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) and the Radio Amateur Society of Australia (RASA).
The ACMA is also taking the opportunity to propose amendments to the Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Amateur Licence) Determination 2015 and Radiocommunications (Overseas Amateurs Visiting Australia) Class Licence 2015 to remove amateur advanced licensees’ access to the 3575–3600 MHz band within areas reallocated for spectrum licensing. The purpose of these changes is to prevent cancellation of advanced amateur licences that would otherwise occur as a result of the reallocation of the 3575–3700 MHz band (the 3.6 GHz band) for spectrum licences.
This paper sets out the following proposals for public consideration:
- proposed changes to amateur licence conditions that are reflected in the draft omnibus instrument. These are:
- changes requested by the amateur community that will account for technological changes, reduce restrictions and increase flexibility for licensees
- removal of amateur advanced licensees’ access to the 3575–3600 MHz band within areas reallocated for spectrum licensing by the relevant dates
- changes requested by the amateur community that the ACMA considers desirable for the medium term and is seeking feedback on
- additional proposals for change that we have identified for the medium term to longer term aimed at reducing the overall regulatory burden of amateur licensing arrangements.
Issue for comment
The ACMA is seeking submissions from interested stakeholders on the proposals set out in this paper.
Comments are invited on:
- the proposed changes reflected in the draft Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Amateur Licence) Omnibus Amendment Instrument 2019 (No.1) and written notice
- other changes for possible inclusion in a future amendment instrument
- any other issues relevant to amateur licence conditions and licensing arrangements, including opportunities that would reduce regulatory burden on licensees while not detracting from other legitimate uses of the relevant spectrum.