The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) has announced a new frequency band plan, which aims to ramp up broadband wireless access deployment in regional and remote areas.
Dr Bob Horton, acting ACA chairman, said the regulator's aim was to provide regional and remote areas of Australian with greater opportunities to receive wireless services.
"The ACA is very keen to encourage greater competition and choice in the broadband market, especially in regional Australia," Horton said.
As part of the plan, from early next year the ACA will allocate site specific apparatus licences which will have special rollout obligations to "ensure the timely deployment of broadband wireless services", according to a statement. The frequency bands are 1900-1920 MHz band in regional and remote areas, and 2010-2025 MHz band in remote areas.
Horton said that to facilitate broadband wireless services in these bands broadband services would need to be given priority over incumbent microwave links.
"Under the new frequency band plan, primary status will be given to point-to-multipoint applications delivering broadband wireless access. This will be achieved by downgrading microwave links used for point-to-point applications to secondary status," he said.
However, Horton added that this didn't necessarily mean that existing licensees would have to move out of the bands.
"They will need to move out of the band only if broadband wireless licences are sought in their particular area and their services cannot be coordinated with those of a new broadband wireless access provider," he said. "In the event that they do have to move, the ACA has made other spectrum available suitable for microwave links."