REDUCED TAXES ON SATELLITE SECTOR WELCOMED

Sydney, 24 January 2017 – Communications Alliance welcomes the new tax arrangements for satellite apparatus licences announced today – a move that industry agrees should encourage more efficient use of spectrum and encourage greater investment in the satellite sector in Australia.

Today’s announcement comes more than three years after the Satellite Services Working Group (SSWG) within Communications Alliance began discussions with the regulator for a review of satellite spectrum pricing methodologies – particularly in the Ka frequency band.

The SSWG had identified that some satellite spectrum prices in effect in Australia were high in comparison with international standards – a finding that was endorsed by the ACMA review – and that this was hampering investment in the sector in Australia.

“The ACMA has acknowledged that making Australia’s pricing structure more aligned with international norms should mean that Australia can derive greater value from the space sector, which already contributes more than $4 billion per annum to Australia’s GDP,” said SSWG Chair and Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton.

The measures announced today include tax reductions of up to 100% for Ka band licences and a tax incentive for earth station spectrum sharing, which can generate more efficient use of available spectrum.

“The SSWG represents more than 15 different satellite-related operators active in Australia and has campaigned consistently and rationally to make Australia’s satellite tax regime more internationally competitive.

“Today’s announcement – although a long time coming - is a welcome recognition that industry and regulators can work together to achieve rational and nationally beneficial economic outcomes,” Mr Stanton said.

ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS ALLIANCE
Communications Alliance is the primary telecommunications industry body  in Australia. Its membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of the  communications industry, including carriers, carriage and internet  service providers, content providers, search engines, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups.

Its vision is to  provide a unified voice for the telecommunications industry and to lead  it into the next generation of converging networks, technologies and  services. The prime mission of Communications Alliance is to promote the growth of the Australian communications industry and the protection of  consumer interests by fostering the highest standards of business ethics and behaviour through industry self-governance. For more details about  Communications Alliance, see www.commsalliance.com.au.

Media information contact:
Sefiani Communications
Kurt Graham kgraham@sefiani.com.au
0431 478 558