The RASA President met with ACMA’s Managers of Licence issue/allocation and Spectrum Licensing Policy and their staff on January 30th in Melbourne, prior to the Syllabus Review Panel meeting.
The following issues were covered:
Access to 50-54 MHz by standard class amateurs
The recent RASA survey, in which 71% of respondents supported access to the entire 6m band by standard class amateurs was discussed.
ACMA noted the outcome of the survey and agreed that this would form part of their considerations for the forthcoming amateur licensing consultation process, currently expected for the second quarter of 2020.
An issue RASA touched on in the submission to last year’s ACMA LCD consultation paper was the current problems with coordination of amateur repeater assignments. RASA’s view is that the current system is not working well and needs revision.
RASA had discussed this issue previously with ACMA and it was proposed that the current amateur repeater band plans be converted into Radiocommunication Assignment and Licencing Instructions (RALI), analogous to the RALIs used for coordination in other frequency bands and licence types (e.g. commercial VHF/UHF land mobile bands).
This would allow transparent coordination of repeater channels. Any ACMA Accredited Person (frequency assigner) would be able to make an assignment with minimal delay.
ACMA staff indicated that this issue would also be covered in the forthcoming licensing consultation process.
Privacy of licencing data
RASA again raised the issue of privacy of amateur licencing/address data and the public display of same on the ACMA Register of Radiocommunications Licences (RRL) database.
Whilst amateurs who do not wish their station address to be public have traditionally used Post Boxes, this option is becoming expensive and unavailable in some areas.
ACMA acknowledged these concerns but reiterated that the Radiocommunications Act requires postal addresses to be available publicly and that there is currently no discretion for the ACMA to not disclose this information on the RRL.
1 kW and access to the 5 MHz band
ACMA noted the RASA submissions on these issues. Output power levels will be discussed as part of the LCD review.
ACMA expects that a discussion paper on implementation of the 5 MHz amateur band will be issued in coming months.
The RASA President invited the WIA President to attend the meeting in a spirit of cross-sector cooperation. No response was received.