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Expiring spectrum licences (stage 2) – information gathering, and views on uses of frequency bands and alternative licence conditions

We are seeking information about current and future uses of spectrum and views on alternative uses, other licensing conditions, and resilience and temporary disaster responses.

Status
Open
Closing in 8 days (05 June 2024)
In progress
  • 1

    Consultation opens

    21 Mar 2024
  • 2

    Consultation closes

    05 Jun 2024

Key documents

Important updates:

Closing date for submissions extended to 5 pm (AEST), 5 June 2024

In response to stakeholder requests, we have extended the deadline for submissions by 3 weeks to 5 pm (AEST), Wednesday 5 June 2024

This provides stakeholders more time to develop submissions, which are a critical input into stage 3 preliminary views. 

‘Reply-to-comment’ period after the consultation closes

We will publish submissions as soon as possible after the consultation closes on 5 June. 

We will then open a reply-to-comment period for 3 weeks. This allows stakeholders to offer feedback and further views in response to the submissions made to the consultation.

We will provide more information when initial submissions are published.

Stage 3 now commencing in Quarter 1, 2025

We have decided to move stage 3 and present our preliminary views in Q1 2025. This will enable us to best consider the developed views and information that stakeholders have contributed and continue to provide greater levels of confidence about how applications for renewal will be considered, well ahead of the first renewal application period in mid-2026. 

Preliminary views on the use of ESL spectrum in Q1 2025 will include renewal options, licensing arrangements, licence conditions, and spectrum pricing.

The Ministerial policy statement is registered

The Minister signed the MPS on 23 April 2024 and the MPS has now been registered. Further details are available here

The issue

This consultation begins stage 2 of the expiring spectrum licence (ESL) process; information gathered will inform preliminary views for stage 3. 

We are seeking information from incumbent licensees about their past, current and future uses of the spectrum.

We encourage prospective alternative users to tell us how their use of spectrum covered by ESLs could enhance a range of outcomes, including encouraging competition, promoting efficiency and innovation, and improving services in regional, rural and remote Australia.

We seek views from all stakeholders on:

  • approaches to examining use under existing spectrum licences
  • issues around resilience and temporary disaster responses that arise in the context of spectrum licences and the ESL process
  • our views on the uses of the frequency bands that are conducive to promoting the long-term public interest, and any additional evidence or analysis related to these views
  • the effectiveness of rollout obligations to achieve improved coverage, UIOLI and UIOSI conditions to achieve more efficient use of the spectrum, any evidence or analysis to support these views and input on the practical implications of applying such conditions.

Consultation on Ministerial policy statement

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts is consulting on a draft Ministerial policy statement (MPS) that specifies 5 Australian Government communications policy objectives that apply to the design and consideration of the ESL process:

  1. Supporting service continuity for end users, particularly where no alternative service is available. 
  2. Opportunities for new entrants and use cases, including for low earth orbit satellites.
  3. Connectivity and investment in regional areas to deliver improved services to consumers and end users.
  4. Promote competition.
  5. Capacity for sustained investment and innovation. 

Submissions to the Department’s consultation on the MPS are due by 12 April 2024. 

We encourage stakeholders to refer to the MPS, if issued, in forming their submissions to our consultation.

Have your say

We are seeking information from incumbent spectrum licensees and prospective alternative licensees interested in the spectrum covered by ESLs about their current and potential future uses of the spectrum, and how these promote, or may promote, the long-term public interest.

Specific information requested is outlined in the consultation paper.

Make a submission

Use the ‘Make a submission’ button at the top of this page to upload your submission.

Details for submissions by post are in the consultation paper.

Publication of submissions

Submissions will be published after this consultation has closed. Read more about publication of submissions.

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