Ministers for the Department of Communications and the Arts

Next stage of spectrum reform to commence

25 August 2015

Joint release with the Hon Paul Fletcher MP

The Government today announced its response to the Spectrum Review undertaken by the Department of Communications, in conjunction with the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

The Government has considered and agreed to implement the recommendations of the Spectrum Review.

Spectrum is a critical enabler of Australia's current and future communications infrastructure. However, the legislative framework for managing spectrum in Australia has become outdated. Change is required to enable industry and consumers to make the most of the spectrum.

Implementing the review's recommendations will reduce the regulatory burden on spectrum users by making interactions with the framework, including allocation processes, simpler and faster. 

The reforms will put in place arrangements that can meet the future demands of spectrum users. The framework will be simpler, more efficient, flexible and sustainable to support new and innovative technologies and services while providing certainty of spectrum access rights for users.

The Government will implement the three main recommendations of the review:

  1. Replace the current legislative arrangements with new legislation that removes prescriptive process and streamlines licensing, for a simpler and more flexible framework.
  2. Better integrate the management of public sector and broadcasting spectrum to improve the consistency and integrity of the framework.
  3. Review spectrum pricing to ensure consistent and transparent arrangements to support the efficient use of spectrum and secondary markets.

The Government will continue to work closely with stakeholders and implement revised spectrum arrangements and expects the new framework to commence from mid-2017.

An implementation timeline and transitional arrangements for stakeholders is at Attachment A.

The Spectrum Review Report is available on the Department of Communications' website.

Media contacts:
Office of Malcolm Turnbull MP: David Bold, 0427 784 451
Office of Paul Fletcher MP: Luke Coleman, 0414 728 720

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