ACMA begins consulting on mutli-band spectrum auction plans

4 Aug 2017

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has announced that it is preparing to allocate a range of frequencies by auction, and has launched a consultation on its plans. In terms of the spectrum that is being considered for sale, the regulator confirmed this includes: lots in the 1800MHz band that were unallocated after the most recent auction of such frequencies; and frequencies in the 2GHz, 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands that either were not allocated in earlier auctions or have become available following spectrum licence re-issue processes, as well as some 2GHz spectrum lots in the Canberra region that have been made available for the first time. With the ACMA collectively referring to the aforementioned spectrum as the ‘multi-band residual lots’, it has said that licences issued to successful bidders will allow for the operation of ‘radiocommunications devices for a fixed period, within a particular frequency range, within a particular geographic area’.

With a view to conducting an ‘efficient and effective auction’, meanwhile, the ACMA is consulting on a number of matters including: the procedures to be followed for issuing spectrum licences; how the spectrum is to be apportioned among the spectrum licences to be issued; and the conditions, or types of conditions, that may be included in spectrum licences to be issued. In addition, it has also invited comments on its proposal to conduct the sale process using a simple clock auction (SCA) format to allocate the multi-band residual lots over three stages, with each stage offering multiple lots simultaneously.

A deadline for submissions to the consultation has been set as 25 August 2017.