700 MHz spectrum: Consultation on draft allocation instruments | ACMA

700 MHz spectrum: Consultation on draft allocation instruments

Consultation closes: 17 November 2016

IFC: 26/2016 Hazy Spectrum lines

Have your say

The ACMA received nine submissions to the consultation paper. After considering the submissions, the ACMA made the allocation instruments which were registered on the Federal Register of Legislation on 16 December 2016. Following that, on 16 January 2017 the ACMA advertised the auction, opened applications and published the Applicant Information Package (AIP).

A summary of the 700 MHz auction can be found here and more information can be found here.

Need more information or assistance?
Read our FAQs





Consultation paper: Draft allocation instruments for 700 MHz spectrum—unsold lots auction

791 KB


Attachment A: Draft Radiocommunications Spectrum Marketing Plan (700 MHz unallocated lots band) 2016

571 KB

Attachment B: Draft Radiocommunications Spectrum Marketing Plan (700 MHz Band) Variation 2016 (No. 1)

62 KB

Attachment C: Draft Radiocommunications (Spectrum Licence Allocation–700 MHz Band) Determination 2016 

136 KB 

Minister’s letter of 5 October 2016 to the Acting Chairman on settings for the 700 MHz auction 

397 KB 

Current situation

In 2013 the ACMA held the digital dividend auction which offered 2x45 MHz of spectrum (703–748 and 758–803 MHz) in the 700 MHz band (the digital dividend).

Following the auction, 2x15 MHz of 700 MHz spectrum remained unsold (the unsold 700 MHz lots). The ACMA’s allocation procedures for the digital dividend auction provided that any unsold 700 MHz spectrum lots might later be offered for allocation by a procedure and at a time, to be determined by the ACMA.

On 7 October 2016 the minister for communications Senator the Hon. Mitch Fifield issued a media release announcing that the unsold 700 MHz lots will be auctioned by the ACMA. The Minister also wrote to the ACMA Acting Chairman Richard Bean setting out Government’s intention to direct the ACMA on some of the auction parameters.

The ACMA has commenced preparations to allocate the unsold 700 MHz lots. This will occur via another auction process scheduled to be conducted in the second quarter of 2017. The ACMA has prepared a consultation paper (refer to the table above) setting out information on:

  • how the ACMA proposes to configure the spectrum for auction
  • how the auction is proposed to operate
  • how interested parties can participate.

The ACMA has prepared draft legislative instruments, referred to as allocation instruments, which describe the product being offered through the auction as well as setting out the rules and procedures that will govern the auction process for the allocation of the unsold lots. The ACMA intends to use existing technical instruments to provide the technical and interference management rules for the operation of radiocommunications devices in the unsold lots (the technical framework). 

The draft allocation instruments are:  

  • a marketing plan, to be made under section 39A of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (the Act);
  • a marketing plan variation instrument, to be made under subsection 42(1) of the Act
  • an allocation determination, to be made under sections 60 and 294 of the Act.  

Draft versions of the marketing plan, the marketing plan variation instrument and the allocation determination can be downloaded from the table above.

The ACMA welcomes comment on matters raised in the consultation paper, and on any other issues relevant to the allocation of the unsold 700 MHz lots.

Issues for comment

The ACMA invites comments on:

  • the draft allocation and technical instruments
  • the proposals associated with early access arrangements 
  • any other issue raised in this paper.

Specific questions are featured in the relevant sections of the consultation paper, including:

Issue 1 Proposed timeline

The ACMA seeks stakeholder views on the proposed timeline for the 700 MHz auction.

Issue 2 Amendment to the Tax Determination

The ACMA seeks views on the proposal to amend the Tax Determination to incorporate an annual licence tax rate of $0.07/MHz (paired)/pop for operation of a transmitter in the frequency range 788–803 MHz.

Issue 3 Draft marketing plan

The ACMA seeks stakeholder views on the draft marketing plan.

Issue 4 Draft allocation determination

The ACMA seeks stakeholder views on the draft allocation determination at Attachment C.