ACMA – Implementation of the Spectrum Pricing Review

This consultation focuses on the implementation of three of the 11 recommendations of the Spectrum Pricing Review. It offers the opportunity to comment on the proposed spectrum pricing guidelines and focus areas for the ACMA’s work program. The recommendations to be reviewed are:

  • Recommendation 1: The ACMA should publish guidelines on how it approaches its spectrum pricing decisions.
  • Recommendation 7: The ACMA should undertake a detailed review of the administrative pricing formula’s parameters including density areas, the number of pricing bands and the number of power categories. The ACMA should implement
    regular updates to the location and band weightings to reflect changes in density, demography and demand.
  • Recommendation 8: The ACMA should apply opportunity cost pricing to a greater number of spectrum bands, especially where it is impractical to competitively allocate spectrum. This work should be identified in the ACMA’s annual work program. The ACMA should consider more time effective approaches to implement these, and review fees as market conditions change over time.

According to the Consultation Paper “The tax formula was developed in the 1990s and has generally provided a solid base for incentivising the efficient use of spectrum. However, industry stakeholders have noted developments in spectral efficiency techniques and network and device deployment models have resulted in some current taxes not promoting the efficient use of spectrum. For example, the large bandwidths required for some technologies (for example, satellite, fixed and mobile services providing the equivalent of 4G and now 5G services) and the low interference potential of some current services had not been factored into the original tax formula and imply higher taxes than might otherwise be supported by contemporary technology uses. At the same time, some of these services have the potential to significantly deny spectrum to other users and the associated opportunity costs can be significant.”

The ACMA invites comments on the issues set out in the Consultation Paper. You can find out more here.

Submissions must be lodged by 30 June 2020.


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