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Review of scientific licensing arrangements – consultation 39/2022

We are proposing to replace the non-assigned scientific apparatus licence with a class licence.

Consultation number
Closing in 29 days (28 February 2023)
In progress
  • 1

    Consultation opened

    05 Dec 2022
  • 2

    Consultation closes

    28 Feb 2023

Key documents

The issue

As flagged in our Five-year spectrum outlook 2022–27 (FYSO), we are conducting a review of scientific licensing arrangements under the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (the Act).

The review aims to ensure that our scientific licensing arrangements encourage spectrum users to develop, trial and assess new and innovative radiocommunications technologies and services.

Proposed class licence to replace non-assigned scientific licences

Non-assigned scientific licences authorise experimental and innovative use of land and mobile stations, ultra-wideband technologies, as well as use of scientific stations in controlled emissions scenarios.

We are proposing to replace the non-assigned scientific licence with a class licence. Licensees would be able to continue to use scientific stations as they have been, without having to apply to us for a licence.

The proposed class licence would remove fees and reduce regulatory burden on licensees, making it cheaper and easier for licensees to experiment and innovate, and conduct business-as-usual activities (such as testing and repairing equipment).

Our consultation paper outlines our key considerations when assessing whether activities currently authorised by non-assigned scientific licences are appropriate for a class licencing arrangement, consistent with our approach to radcomms licensing and allocation.

Subject to the outcome of this consultation, we intend to implement the new scientific class licence. We will keep licensees informed of these changes before the class licence is made and comes into legal effect. We will provide advice on any actions required by non-assigned scientific licensees, including requests for surrender of licences and refunds, where appropriate as outlined in the consultation paper.

Assigned scientific licensing

We are satisfied that the assigned scientific framework is working as intended. The licence continues to authorise trials of new technologies. The licence is being used for a wide range of applications, Global Positioning System (GPS) retransmission technologies, satellite communications and, potentially, experimentation in the amateur radio service.

Have your say

We invite comments from stakeholders on the proposed class licence and on the questions in the consultation paper.

Please send submissions to by 5 pm (AEDT) on Tuesday, 28 February 2023. Or you can simply click the ‘Upload submission’ button above.

Please note: we recently sought views from amateur radio licensees about authorising a wider range of activities involving amateur stations under assigned scientific licensing arrangements. Submissions made to that consultation will be considered as part of this review, and a separate submission to this consultation is not required.

Publication of submissions

Read about the ACMA’s policy regarding the publication of submissions.

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