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2012 News Releases




News Release – WIA attends ACMA Radcomms 2012 Conference

Date : 16 / 06 / 2012
Author : Peter Young - VK3MV

For the past five years the Australian Communications and Media Authority has held a conference related to activities and emerging issues they confront as the Commonwealth government’s spectrum and media regulator. This year’s conference was held in Melbourne over 6-7th June. The conference theme this year was - Spectrum beyond broadband - and was opened by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator the Hon. Stephen Conroy via a video link.

As the WIA is a recognised industry participant, the WIA’s Government Liaison representative, Peter Young, VK3MV attended on behalf of the WIA. Attendance at events such as this affords to opportunity to speak with other spectrum users, raise awareness of amateur radio and gather information on emerging issues that may affect amateurs.

This year’s keynote speaker Dr. Compton Tucker from the Goddard Space Flight Centre, NASA delivered an interesting presentation on the “Fingerprints of Nature” and how satellites using unique areas of spectrum for passive and active sensing devices to map the earth’s climate and change. Continued and expanded access to these spectrum segments is important in areas such as weather forecasting and measuring changes in the earth climate over time.

Of particular interest to the amateur community, is the ongoing work associated with the Review of 400 MHz spectrum that also includes the 70cm meter allocation. The review commenced in 1999 was aimed at providing harmonised aaccess to 420-430 MHz for government radio particularly supporting essential and emergency networks supporting police, fire and ambulance,.

Currently, the amateur service has a secondary allocation between 420 and 450 MHz. In its last report from the ACMA on the review issued April 2010, they advised that the allocation for the amateur service between 430-450 MHz would not be affected from any rearrangement. They cited, however, a possible need for some temporary use by other services in the segment 440-450 MHz during the transition period.

In the Amateur secondary segment 420-430 MHz, some geographic areas around Australia amateur use has already been withdrawn. At the conference, the ACMA has flagged that they will be seeking consultation with the WIA on withdrawal of the amateur service in this segment across the rest of Australia. The major use of this segment by amateurs is fixed links and the like where the ACMA database lists around 126 assignments across 35 licensees. It is expected these can be relocated to the 430 – 450 MHz region.

Consultation with ACMA staff and the WIA is expected to take place shortly.


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