CRA Welcomes Govt Spectrum Review

Staff Writer

Back in May the Federal Government outlined proposed changes to improve Australia’s spectrum management framework.

This week it considered, and agreed to implement the recommendations of the Spectrum Review. Commercial Radio Australia has welcomed the Government’s response.

CRA CEO Joan Warner said: “A simpler and more flexible framework will allow for a more efficient and responsive system.

“It will however be important to consider the pricing of spectrum licences for commercial free-to-air radio broadcasters in the broader context of heavy regulation, local and Australian music content requirements, advertising restrictions and mandatory tags required of radio broadcasters, as well as the key role of radio in emergency situations.

“The final outcome must ensure there is no increase in pricing for commercial radio broadcasters’ spectrum licences. In addition, the pricing should be considered in the wider context of total licence fees paid by radio broadcasters for the use of spectrum, which are very high compared to our global counterparts.

“We look forward to engaging fully with the Department of Communications and with ACMA to streamline and make more efficient spectrum licensing arrangements, and to make sure that the unique role that commercial broadcast radio plays in providing robust, reliable free-to-air programming to all Australians, particularly in times of emergency, is recognised and preserved.”

The Government will implement the three main recommendations of the review:

  1. Replace the current legislative arrangements with new legislation that removes prescriptive process and streamlines licensing, for a simpler and more flexible framework.
  2. Better integrate the management of public sector and broadcasting spectrum to improve the consistency and integrity of the framework.
  3. Review spectrum pricing to ensure consistent and transparent arrangements to support the efficient use of spectrum and secondary markets.

They are aiming to implement the new framework from mid-2017. You can view the full report here.


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