Ministerial Policy Statement—Expiring Spectrum Licences

We're seeking views on a draft Ministerial Policy Statement (MPS) that the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) must have regard to in making decisions with respect to certain spectrum licences expiring between 2028 and 2032.

Why we want your input

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has established a four stage process for considering the future arrangements for spectrum licences due to expire between 2028 and 2032. We are seeking views on a draft Ministerial Policy Statement that specifies the policies of the Government that the ACMA must have regard to in performing its spectrum management functions and exercising its spectrum management powers with respect to certain licences that are due to expire between 2028 and 2032.

How you can voice your opinion

You can provide input by 5pm on 10 April 2024 by uploading your submission using the ‘Have your say now’ button below or emailing us at spectrum@infrastructure.gov.au.

What will be the outcome of this consultation?

Your submission will be considered by the Australian Government before the draft Ministerial Policy Statement is finalised.

The Issue

A large number of spectrum licences are due to expire between 2028 and 2032. These expiring spectrum licences (ESLs) span a number of frequency bands and are used for a diverse range of applications, including mobile and fixed wireless broadband, rail safety and communications and electronic news gathering.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has primary responsibility for making decisions relating to ESLs. The ACMA published its approach to expiring spectrum licences consultation paper in May 2023. In December 2023, the ACMA released its Expiring spectrum licences finalised framework and response to submissions. The December paper finalised the ACMA's 4-stage approach to the ESLs and affirms the public interest criteria for the ESL process.

In recognition of the significance of the ESL process, the Minister for Communications wrote to the Chair of ACMA on 14 December 2023, expressing her support for the ACMA's proposed 4-stage process and public interest criteria and reiterated her policy priorities identified in the December 2022 Statement of Expectations. The Minister also indicated that she was considering issuing a Ministerial Policy Statement (MPS) to guide the ACMA in its ESL process. The Minister committed to publicly consult on any draft MPS, with an aim to finalise the MPS by the end of April 2024. The ACMA's December paper acknowledges the Minister's 14 December letter, and notes the Minister's intent to consult on an MPS.

The Minister has the power under section 28B of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (the Act) to provide high-level policy guidance to ACMA about the Government's policies for spectrum management through the issue of Ministerial Policy Statements.  Although the ACMA retains decision making discretion the ACMA must have regard to any relevant MPS under section 28C of the Act.

The draft MPS is not intended to apply directly to the expiring spectrum licences currently being used for broadcast services (primarily electronic news gathering) in the 2570–2620 MHz (2.5 GHz mid-band gap) band, or to those used for metropolitan rail safety and communications services in the 1800 MHz band. However, these licences would still be considered as part of the ACMA's comprehensive expiring spectrum licences process.

The Department is seeking stakeholder views on the draft MPS, including views on the scope the MPS and policy priorities identified.

Relevant documentation

Participate

15 Mar 2024 10:00 AEDT
12 Apr 2024 17:00 AEST
Closed

We invite you to to tell us your views on this topic.

Please include:

  • contact name
  • organisation name, if applicable
  • contact details, including telephone number, postal and email addresses
  • confirmation whether or not your submission can be made public—published—or kept confidential.

All submissions to be made public need to meet the Digital Service Standard for accessibility. Any submission that does not meet this standard may be modified before being made public.

If your submission is to be made public, please ensure you do not include any personal information that you don't want to be published.

If your submission is confidential, please ensure each page of the submission is marked as confidential.

Please click on the 'Have your say now' button below to upload your submission.

This consultation is closed.

Alternatively please email your completed template submission to spectrum@infrastructure.gov.au.

Australian Privacy Principle 5 Notice

Ministerial Policy Statement—Expiring Spectrum Licences

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts (the department) is collecting information for the purposes of the Ministerial Policy Statement—Expiring Spectrum Licences, in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988.

The department will use this information to inform consideration of issues associated with the Ministerial Policy Statement—Expiring Spectrum Licences and will store this information securely. It may be used by the department to make further contact with you about the review.

The department will not disclose information to third parties, except in the circumstances outlined below.

Submissions, in part or full, including the name of the author may be published on the department's website unless the submission is confidential. Confidential submissions (including the author's name) will not be published. Private addresses and contact details will not be published or disclosed to any third parties unless required by law.

Submissions will only be treated as confidential if they are expressly stated to be confidential. Automatically generated confidentiality statements or disclaimers appended to an email do not suffice for this purpose. If you wish you make a confidential submission, you should indicate this by ensuring your submission is marked confidential.

Confidential submissions will be kept securely and will only be disclosed in the following circumstances:

  • in response to a request by a Commonwealth Minister
  • where required by a House or a Committee of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia
  • where required by law.

The department may also disclose confidential submissions within the Commonwealth of Australia, including with other Commonwealth agencies, where necessary in the public interest.

Please note that in order to protect the personal privacy of individuals in accordance with the Privacy Act any submissions containing sensitive information, personal information or information which may reasonably be used to identify a person or group of people may not be published, even if not marked as confidential.

The department's privacy policy contains information regarding complaint handling processes and how to access and/or seek correction of personal information held by the department. The Privacy Officer can be contacted on 02 6274 6495 or by email: privacy@infrastructure.gov.au