WIA Response to the ACMA Five Year Spectrum Outlook 2021
One of the ways that ACMA determines its work program priorities and items is through its rolling 5 year program. Updated every year, the 5 year rolling spectrum outlook provides the radiocommunications industry with a view of what areas ACMA intends working on for the next 12 months, but also what future issues ACMA is watching.
WIA Spectrum Strategy Committee
ACMA Identified Works Items
For the Amateur Service, two key items on ACMA’s agenda that are of special interest to the WIA:
continued work on the non-assigned amateur service licensing review
review of arrangements for amateur service stations operating at increased transmitter power levels
The first of these saw the WIA make a major response to ACMA earlier this month. The second is proposed to commence in the second quarter of 2022. The WIA welcomes the opportunity to again explore how Australian amateur licensees can operate with higher transmitter power.
The ACMA has also identified the following bands for further review - namely 2300-2302MHz and 3300-4200MHz, both of which will have potential impacts to the amateur service. The WIA has already actively attended the ACMA’s 3400-3475MHz Technical Liaison Group meetings and will continue to engage in the TLG discussion groups as other UHF and SHF bands face further changes throughout 2021-22.
WIA Requested Work Items
The WIA has drawn attention to a number of other key issues it believes are important to the amateur service at this time.
In the category of “Operational Matters” the WIA has identified the following items:
Define and implement a new model for managing the Amateur Operator Certificate of Proficiency syllabus that retains amateur service engagement in the process, considering that those changes will be required as part of the licensing reforms.
Review the effectiveness of the amateur service examination system in light of the lack of growth of newly licenced operators in Australia, particularly through 2020 under COVID when compared to other countries.
As the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) representative in Australia, the WIA is about to finalise its policy on processing Australian amateur satellite licence applications. This is expected to be presented to the ACMA within the next 3 months.
Also of interest to amateur operators are the spectrum access related items that the WIA continues to advocate to ACMA. For this round of the ACMA FYSO, the WIA is seeking to address the following matters:
Extension of operating privileges for AOCP(S) class licensees to include access to the 50-52 MHz band.
The WIA requests the ACMA conduct a further review of the defined usage of 7100-7200 kHz in the Australian Radio Spectrum Plan.
Concerns are also expressed about the ongoing erosion of UHF and SHF spectrum and its impacts on wideband modes such as Amateur Television. In relation to the HF spectrum, the issue of needing access to more spectrum between 3-12MHz has been flagged. This is to help support increased frequency agility by amateur operators when dealing with over the horizon radar (OTHR) system interference from foreign sources.
While the WIA is realistic about the limited resources available to the ACMA to deal with amateur issues, however, it is still important to keep these WIA concerns on the agenda with ACMA. Input by the WIA into processes like FYSO is vital to maintaining, enhancing and advocating for the amateur service in Australia. This is yet another example of how the WIA first and foremost represents its members and broader amateur service interests in this regulatory environment.
The WIA will keep members informed of any developments as they come to hand.
Page Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 Apr 2021 at 18:36 hours by Justin Giles-clark
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The National Association for Amateur Radio in Australia
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