Australian minister issues policy statement for the 3.4GHz-4.0GHz band

10 Feb 2022

Paul Fletcher, Australia’s Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, has issued a Ministerial Policy Statement (MPS) for the 3.4GHz-4.0GHz band, setting out ‘policies of the Government that the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) must have regard to in performing its spectrum management functions and exercising its spectrum management powers with respect to the spectrum band in question’.

In a press release regarding the matter, it was noted that the MPS is specifically intended to apply to the ACMA’s decisions regarding the 3.4GHz-4.0GHz band (remote areas), the 3400MHz-3575MHz band (excluding remote areas) and the 3.7GHz-4.0GHz band (excluding remote areas), which were identified in the 2021-26 Five Year Spectrum Outlook for re-planning and future allocation. Four communications policies specified in the MPS cover: supporting the deployment of new and innovative technology, including 5G; supporting a range of use cases and users; supporting digital connectivity and investment in regional Australia; and promoting competitive markets.

Notably, the MPS is the first released following recent reforms to the Radiocommunications Act 1992, which formalised the ability of the country’s communications minister to provide high-level policy guidance to the ACMA with regards to the Government’s policies for spectrum management through the issue of an MPS.