Albanese keeps high price on 700 MHz spectrum

 

Emergency services bid in doubt.

Communications Minister Anthony Albanese will maintain reserve prices on unsold 700 MHz spectrum, keeping Telstra happy but ignoring calls by Vodafone to delay future pricing decisions.

Albanese quietly issued directions to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) on Friday last week that set out how and when a 30 MHz portion of unsold spectrum in the prized 700 MHz band might be re-offered for sale by the Federal Government.

Based on reserve prices set for this year's auction — which attracted bids from Telstra, Optus and TPG Internet — the unsold portion could be worth up to $1 billion.

Former Communications Minister Stephen Conroy began consulting with industry on what to do with the unsold spectrum on June 24.

Submissions from the three major telcos were published last Friday, alongside formal Ministerial directions to the ACMA on how to handle the unsold lots.

The directions are largely the same as the June 24 drafts; though industry views were taken into account, recommendations from the telcos did not make the final texts.

Price was a key theme of the industry submissions.

Telstra's executive director of corporate affairs, Jane van Beelen, said in a submission (pdf) that keeping the reserve price set at no less than $1.36 per megahertz per population was necessary to ensure recent bidders weren't "disadvantaged by the unsold 700 MHz lots being offered at a reduced price in a future allocation process".

"It is also important for maintaining the integrity of the recent auction process and the broader market based spectrum allocation regime in Australia, so that investors have confidence about participating in future ACMA spectrum allocation processes," van Beelen said.

Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) — which did not participate in this year's 700 MHz auction — had urged the Government to relax the reserve, especially given the high price had meant portions of the spectrum hadn't sold.

"There is no reason for the Minister to direct the ACMA fix spectrum access charges for the 700 MHz band at 'no less than the amount of $1.36/MHz/pop'," Vodafone said. (pdf)

"The imposition of a minimum value above the recently observed market value of the spectrum seems premature.

"Instead, the matter of defining a minimum value for the relevant spectrum should be within the scope of the ACMA's post-auction review."

The Ministerial direction to maintain the reserve price on 700 MHz spectrum presents a fresh stumbling block for emergency services, which have made a play to get access to the unsold spectrum for free.

Three days before Albanese issued the formal directions, a Senate Committee recommended that leftover 700 MHz spectrum be given over to emergency services to host a private 4G network. However, the formal directions mean that prospect is once again looking unlikely.

The Government has long maintained that the emergency services network should operate in the adjacent 800 MHz band.

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.


Albanese keeps high price on 700 MHz spectrum
 
 
 
Top Stories
Frugality as a service: the Amazon story
Behind the scenes, Amazon Web Services is one lean machine.
 
Negotiating with the cloud email megavendors
[Blog post] Lessons from Woolworths’ mammoth migration.
 
Qld govt to move up to 149k staff onto Office 365
Australia's largest deployment, outside of the universities.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...

Latest VideosSee all videos »

The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
Scott Noteboom, CEO of LitBit speaking at The Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit 2014 in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. http://bit.ly/1qpxVfV Scott Noteboom is a data centre engineer who led builds for Apple and Yahoo in the earliest days of the cloud, and who now eyes Asia as the next big opportunity. Read more: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/372482,how-do-we-serve-three-billion-new-internet-users.aspx#ixzz2yNLmMG5C
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
To COTS or not to COTS? iTnews asks Karl Maftoum, CIO of the ACMA, at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
AEMO chief information officer Susan Sly calls for more collaboration among Australia's technology leaders at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Credit Union Australia's David Gee awarded Finance CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards.
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Damon Rees named Retail CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Woolworths.
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Acting Foxtel CIO David Marks accepts an iTnews Benchmark Award on behalf of Robyn Elliott.
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Sanjay Mehta named Industrial CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at ConocoPhillips.
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Greg Wells named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at NSW Health.
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
William Confalonieri named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Deakin University.
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
David Johnson named Government CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at the Queensland Police Service.
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott discuss the Coalition's broadband policy with the press.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
The Australian Federal Police have arrested a Sydney-based IT security professional for hacking a government website.
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO Chrissy Burns talks data.
New UTS Building: the IT within
New UTS Building: the IT within
The IT behind tomorrow's universities.
iTnews' NBN Panel
iTnews' NBN Panel
Is your enterprise NBN-ready?
Introducing iTnews Labs
Introducing iTnews Labs
See a timelapse of the iTnews labs being unboxed, set up and switched on! iTnews will produce independent testing of the latest enterprise software to hit the market after installing a purpose-built test lab in Sydney. Watch the installation of two DL380p servers, two HP StoreVirtual 4330 storage arrays and two HP ProCurve 2920 switches.
The True Cost of BYOD
The True Cost of BYOD
iTnews' Brett Winterford gives attendees of the first 'Touch Tomorrow' event in Brisbane a brief look at his research into enterprise mobility. What are the use cases and how can they be quantified? What price should you expect to pay for securing mobile access to corporate applications? What's coming around the corner?
Ghost clouds
Ghost clouds
ACMA chair Chris Chapman says there is uncertainty over whether certain classes of cloud service providers are caught by regulations.
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Privacy experts David Vaile (UNSW Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre) and Craig Scroggie (CEO, NextDC) claim they were not surprised by the Snowden leaks about the NSA's PRISM program.
Latest Comments
Polls
Which bank is most likely to suffer an RBS-style meltdown?





   |   View results
ANZ
  21%
 
Bankwest
  9%
 
CommBank
  11%
 
National Australia Bank
  17%
 
Suncorp
  24%
 
Westpac
  19%
TOTAL VOTES: 1452

Vote