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Possible use of the 5351.5–5366.5 kHz band by the amateur service - consultation 13/2020

We examine sharing issues between existing and potential amateur uses of the band and seek comments on a range of options.

Submissions now public
Consultation number
IFC 13/2020
Days remaining 0 of 44 days
  • 1

    Open for comment

    07 May 2020
  • 2

    Consultation closes

    19 Jun 2020
  • 3

    Submissions published

    28 Oct 2020
  • 4

    Outcome published

    07 Dec 2020

Key documents


The ACMA has reviewed all submissions to this consultation. When weighing up spectrum use, the ACMA considers the objects of the Radiocommunications Act 1992. This includes:

  • Maximising public benefit from the use of the radio spectrum.
  • Making provision for spectrum use by Australian defence or national security agencies. This was of high importance in this matter.

In balancing defence’s existing use of the 5351.5–5366.5 kHz band against the impacts of introducing use by the amateur service, the ACMA has decided not to support amateur use in the band. The decision paper in the key documents section gives the reasons for our decision.

The ACMA recognises the high level of interest shown by the amateur community in adding this band, and understands there will be disappointment. However, we are  confident the decision is appropriate and consistent with the objects of the Radiocommunications Act. In particular, this includes supporting defence and national interest objectives.

The issue

The amateur service primarily facilitates hobby radiocommunications and technical experimentation. We support the amateur service through planning arrangements that recognise the need for amateur radio operators to access frequency bands, while balancing other demands for spectrum.

In Australia, the high frequency (HF) band 5351.5–5366.5 kHz (15 kHz) was allocated to the amateur service on a secondary basis in 2017. However, there are unresolved sharing issues in the band, which have prevented its use. The band is used by 526 other licensed services, mostly land mobile and aeronautical services and also Defence.

Have your say

Comments on options for the possible use of the band 5351.5–5366.5 kHz by the amateur service on a secondary basis are invited. Four options are identified, which explore differing degrees of segmented use, on a geographical and/or frequency block use:

  • Option 1: Australia-wide access to the whole band (5351.5–5366.5 kHz) but excluding Queensland and zones around existing transmitters.
  • Option 2: Australia-wide access to 5351.5–5365 kHz, that is, exclude the top 1.5 kHz to mitigate against most known sharing issues.
    Option 3: Segmented and/or channelised use to mitigate against interference to existing services.
  • Option 4: No amateur use.

Make a submission

Use the 'Upload a submission' button at the top of this page to up-load your submission.

You can email your submissions to or send by post to:

Chris Worley
Spectrum Planning Section
Australian Communications and Media Authority
PO Box 78
Belconnen ACT 2616

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