The ACMA uses a number of criteria to assess requests to file details of a proposed satellite network with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
Before we can agree to file a satellite network with the ITU, we assess the request against criteria introduced in October 1999. If the proposed operations of the network meets those criteria and the Authority agrees, we file the request as an Advanced Publication Information (API) to the ITU and enter into a Deed of Agreement with the operator.
The time needed to conduct an assessment varies according to the complexity of the proposed satellite network. A non-refundable fee of A$16,093.00 must be paid to the ACMA along with a request to file a satellite network with the ITU. The fee covers the work done by the ACMA including filing of an API submission and a Coordination Request submission. Other charges apply from then on.
Filing a satellite network
This can be a time consuming and expensive process. Before requesting a filing, an operator should become familiar with Australian regulations, then contact Space Systems about their requirement. It is unlikely that we will proceed with a request to file simply on the basis of an application with a cheque enclosed.
When an operator requests the ACMA to file a satellite network with the ITU, it must provide the ACMA with detailed information relating to:
- The reason for choosing the Australian Administration
- The background of the network
- Types of services to be provided
- Technical characteristics of the network.
The operator must also specifically address in detail each of the following criteria. The ACMA bases its decision to file a network with the ITU on whether the above information meets these criteria.
The assessment criteria are as follows:
- Filing the satellite network with the ITU must not impede the capacity of the ACMA to perform its spectrum management or telecommunications functions (subsection 11(2) of the Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005)
- Operation of the satellite network to provide radiocommunications to Australia must be consistent with the Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan or any relevant frequency band plan, taking into account any expected or planned changes to those instruments (section 104 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992)
- Operation of the satellite network to provide radiocommunications outside Australia must be consistent with the ITU Radio Regulations (section 299 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992)
- The satellite operator must agree in writing to enter into a Deed of Agreement with the ACMA for the coordination and radio interference management of the satellite network (section 299 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 and section 12 of the Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005)
- The satellite operator agrees that the space objects that comprise the satellite network will be determined to be 'Australian space objects' for the purposes of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (sections 5, 10A, 16 and 23)
- The satellite operator must agree in writing to meet the requirements of the Telecommunications Act 1997 in relation to the operation of network units located on satellites and
- There must be a benefit to Australia in accordance with the object of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 and the functions of the ACMA. For example, the filing must:
- increase the overall public benefit derived from using the radiofrequency spectrum (subsection 3(a) of the Radiocommunications Act 1992)
- support the communications policy objectives of Government (subsection 3(f) of the Radiocommunications Act 1992)
- provide opportunities for the Australian communications industry in domestic and international markets (subsection 3(g) of the Radiocommunications Act 1992) or
- otherwise assist the ACMA to meet its legislative obligations.