ACMA FYSO October 2021

STOP PRESS!

1 Oct 2021

ACMA released their Five-Year Spectrum Outlook recently.  You can read more about the release below.

“29 September 2021

FYSO 2021–26 released

The five-year spectrum outlook is the ACMA’s primary spectrum management document. It is released each year to provide a broad overview of trends that affect spectrum management and the factors used to inform the ACMA’s spectrum planning and allocation priorities.

The FYSO 2021–26 outlines our priorities for the next 5 years. It includes a detailed annual work program, with activities and milestones for the 2021–22 financial year.

We have also released the submissions received for our draft FYSO consultation as well as our response to submissions. We thank all our stakeholders for their involvement in the FYSO process.”

Let’s unpack this and see what it means for Amateur Radio in the near term.

Class Licencing:  ACMA are still working on this – in spite of the hype earlier this year, don’t expect anything soon, but the likely outcome is that class licencing will proceed, but the timeline is unclear.  Unless someone in ACMA decides the revenue (ca $700k) from amateur licencing is too important.

1KW: whilst we are pleased to see ACMA acknowledging this matter, it keeps getting deferred.  RASA has been lobbying for this privilege for some time. This is the 3rd time ACMA have pushed this matter to a future work program.  The sector is onboard; it doesn’t require further consultation…and, of course, we know the reality…..many stations run 1 kW (and above) now.

50-54MHz for Standard: as with the 1KW topic, it’s good to see ACMA recognition of this matter.  This is an easy change for ACMA.  Both RASA and the WIA support this request.  There is no logical reason why this change can’t be implemented now.

7.1-7.2MHz to become Primary for AR: RASA supports this proposed change…  but it doesn’t really matter as the primary users, Broadcasters, have left this segment and are no longer being allocated frequencies between 7100-7200KHz.

Allocations above 70cm: Amateur Radio is Secondary.  There is a huge demand for 5G spectrum and the pressure on the regulator from mobile carriers is immense.  We will not be granted any additional allocations above 70cm, and existing allocations above 70cm may well be reduced or lost.  The spectrum is simply too valuable.  RASA encourages the “use it or lose it” principle, but a pragmatic approach must prevail.

Syllabi: updates to the syllabi have been outstanding for years.  The erstwhile Syllabus Review Committee was disbanded in 2019 and ACMA has made no decisions on how to progress these matters since that time.  WIA representatives would not agree with majority views on important changes.  Every other sector uses Technical Liaison Group mechanisms; it’s unclear what ACMA intends to do with AR Syllabi.  RASA has written to ACMA seeking further updates.

We’ll stay close to these matters and keep you updated via the news, QTC and our email bulletins.  As always, if you have any questions, please send us an email.