Issue No 22: 16 September 2019



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Satellite Operators’ Growing Demand in the 2 GHz Spectrum Band

The Communications Alliance Satellite Services Working Group (SSWG) has provided a submission to the ACMA in response to their 2 GHz band planning consultation. There is a growing demand for services in this band, including Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) systems, Direct-Air-to-Ground Communications links, and the continued use of the band by Television Outside Broadcast services.

The SSWG supports the progression of the band from the initial investigation to the preliminary replanning stage of the planning process as soon as possible. The SSWG supports the ACMA facilitating the timely introduction of important new MSS services and to consider a ground component to support these services in high population areas and where man-made ‘terrain’ makes MSS visibility difficult. It is anticipated that the outcome of the WRC-19 conference will provide guidance on technical sharing in the 2 GHz band, which will influence the planning of this band.

The ACMA Investigates Future Arrangements in the C-Band

The 3700–4200 MHz spectrum band (known as the ‘C-Band’) is currently used in Australia by a mixture of services and applications including point-to-point links, coordinated fixed satellite service earth stations, radiodetermination and various low power class licensed devices. The ACMA has moved the C-Band to the initial investigation stage of their work program and has released a Discussion Paper inviting comments from industry.

The Communications Alliance Satellite Services Working Group (SSWG) has provided a submission to the ACMA presenting the views of its members on the issues set out in the Discussion Paper. Of the scenarios presented, the one most favoured by the satellite industry would be to maintain existing arrangements. However, in the opinion of some members, this is probably not likely to prevail and another outcome is to allow access to one or more lower segments of the band on either an exclusive or shared basis. Some SSWG members also note that the ACMA has an opportunity to adopt modern dynamic spectrum management to accommodate the needs of incumbents and potential new entrants into this band, but some members are yet to make their minds up on this approach.

Response to the ACCC Final Report on the Digital Platforms Inquiry

The Inquiry’s stated objective is to consider “the impact of online search engines, social media and digital content aggregators (digital platforms) on competition in the media and advertising services markets” and to consider the “implications of these impacts for media content creators, advertisers and consumers and, in particular, to consider the impact on news and journalistic content.”

Against this background, the Communications Alliance submission raises concern that a number of recommendations of the Final Report are aimed at broader, economy-wide regulatory reform and changes to legislation, i.e. the Privacy Act 1988 and the unfair terms and practices provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

Given that neither the necessity for the recommended changes on an economy-wide level has been demonstrated, nor their effects on other sectors considered, the submission therefore calls for a thorough, evidence-based investigation and consultation on these proposed changes.

Submission to the Independent National Security Monitor’s Review of the Assistance and Access Act

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) has requested that the INSLM consider whether the Assistance and Access Act achieves an appropriate balance, i.e. whether the Act contains sufficient safeguards for protecting the rights of individuals and remains proportionate and necessary.

Communications Alliance, the Ai Group, AIIA, AMTA, DIGI and ITPA have jointly written to the INSLM to reiterate our concerns with various aspects of the legislation and to provide suggestions for possible amendments to the Act.

Communications Alliance and AMTA Joint Submission on the International Mobile Roaming Standard

Communications Alliance and the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) have made a joint submission to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) on proposed changes to the regulation of international mobile roaming (IMR) services, including an ACMA draft service provider determination that is proposed to replace the existing industry standard.

In their submission, the Associations support and welcome the administrative change in regulation from a Standard to a Determination as they believe this will provide greater flexibility for industry, which will, in turn, deliver improved consumer protections and outcomes.

The Associations have raised concerns, however, with some of the proposed changes in the draft Determination. A number of the drafted requirements appear to be overly prescriptive. The Associations suggest that the rules should be drafted so as to enable providers to offer choices to their customers, should they have the technical capability to do so, but without specifying what those choices must include.

It has also been suggested that further consultation on the timeframe for the Determination to commence be undertaken. Currently, the Determination is proposed to commence on 1st January 2020. Association members believe that the likely IT and system changes required to comply with the draft Determination (based on the current drafting) would take 12 months to implement. The proposed timeframe also overlaps with the annual IT system embargoes which most providers undergo during the Nov / Dec period.

IoT Impact 2019


NEW: The Hon. Victor Dominello MP, Minister for Customer Service NSW, has just been confirmed as the opening plenary speaker and will launch the NSW IoT Policy Framework.

FOR MORE INFO AND REGISTRATION/TICKETS: https://www.iotimpact.com.au/

Buy your ticket now and get a 10% discount by quoting this code: CA2019EC
But hurry, discount offer ends 13 September 2019!
Date:15-16 October 2019
WhereHyatt Regency Sydney
Register: Register-now

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