Australian government mulling 2.5GHz spectrum sale?

12 Jan 2010

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is expected to release a discussion paper calling for opinions and suggestions regarding the uses for spectrum in the 2.5GHz band, CommsDay reports. The move follows the announcement last week that the Australian government is hoping to raise some AUD2 billion (USD1.83 billion) from the sale of spectrum due to be freed up as part of the switch-off of analogue television signals. Having indicated plans to offer 126MHz of spectrum in the ultra-high frequency (UHF) band it remains unclear however how much may be made available in the 2.5GHz band, although it has been suggested that the amount could be as much as 190MHz between 2500MHz and 2690MHz, which is currently used by TV networks for outside broadcasts. Communications minister Stephen Conroy recently described the spectrum blocks as a ‘key national infrastructure asset’, noting: ‘Our media regulator is also about to release a discussion paper on potential uses for the 2.5GHz spectrum currently used by broadcasters for electronic news gathering.’ Public comments on the digital dividend green paper meanwhile are due by 26 February.