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Our role to manage spectrum

We plan spectrum to make the most of this resource and to reduce interference between users.

To ensure more people can use spectrum in more ways, we have to:

  • plan carefully
  • make choices about the best way to use spectrum

Spectrum as an economic resource

In economic terms, spectrum is a renewable natural resource. Most of it is already assigned to existing users. This makes spectrum valuable, so we manage it to create the most benefit.

We need to ensure spectrum supports the government's social and economic policy.

Our goal is to avoid rules for industry that:

  • create unnecessary costs
  • prevent competition

To do this, spectrum planning focuses on:

  • technical issues to manage interference
  • ways to enable access to spectrum

As more and more communications and network services use spectrum, its importance grows.

Spectrum at national and international level

The global spectrum market is large, with diverse needs. Australia needs an administrator to:

  • meet the rules of international agreements
  • ensure important public services such as defence and emergency services can use spectrum

Australian industry and consumers benefit when spectrum standards are consistent between countries.

This 'harmonisation' of how countries manage spectrum can:

  • reduce radio interference between countries
  • make it easier to use equipment across borders
  • reduce the costs of spectrum through larger economies of scale
  • create a more competitive marketplace

Spectrum planning framework

Spectrum planning is an important aspect of spectrum management. Through spectrum planning, we determine the general service and application-level uses of the spectrum. We also define the technical and operational rules used when issuing licences to specific spectrum users and for licensees to utilise the spectrum.

The spectrum planning framework is expressed through a combination of legislative instruments and administrative policy documents. This information paper explains the role of the spectrum planning framework, the various documents that make up the framework and how they interact with each other and with other aspects of the overall spectrum management system.

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