With the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) planning to auction spectrum in the 850MHz and 900MHz bands in late 2021, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (DITRDC) is seeking feedback on a draft of an allocation limits direction ahead of the sale process. ACMA will soon consult on its allocation instruments for the auction, ahead of which the DITRDC issued a press release confirming it is considering whether to direct the communications regulator to impose allocation limits with a view to supporting the government’s communication policy objectives. To that end, the DITRDC has prepared an ‘exposure draft direction’ that would require ACMA to impose limits such that no person could use more than 82MHz of sub-1GHz spectrum under spectrum licences. The draft direction would also set aside spectrum for Optus and TPG Telecom in the 900MHz band to support service continuity.
The DITRDC said it is now seeking stakeholder views on whether the direction ‘will operate effectively with ACMA’s proposed allocation procedures’.