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Flexibility in Network Deployment Regulations

Ray McKenzie
Manager, Mobile Carriers Forum - AMTA

 

Mobile Carriers call for more flexibility in mobile network deployment regulations

The Department of Communications and the Arts has just completed its public consultation on a suite of amendments to the regulatory framework governing carriers’ deployment of mobile network infrastructure.

AMTA joined Communications Alliance in welcoming the opportunity to provide comment on the DoCA consultation paper “Possible amendments to telecommunications carrier powers and immunities – Consultation paper”, June 2017.

The Associations noted that the amendments proposed in the consultation paper to the Low Impact Facilities Determination, the Telecommunications Code of Practice and Schedule 3 of the Telecommunications Act address many of the issues raised in previous submissions to the Department, particularly in regard to increasing flexibility in the types of infrastructure permitted as Low Impact and the planning zones in which such infrastructure is permitted. 

The amendments reflect the changes in technology and deployment practices in mobile and fixed wireless network infrastructure that have occurred over the very long period of time since these regulations were first introduced.

The joint submission reinforced the very significant benefits of the amendments to community, government and industry by way of reduced regulatory burden and the earlier provision of better, more advanced mobile and fixed wireless services to communities across Australia. 

If adopted, the net economic benefit flowing to community, government and the industry is 100s of millions of dollars annually, while the additional benefits in social connectivity, personal security and disaster management are incalculable.

The Associations therefor strongly supported the suite of amendments proposed in the consultation paper, noting they will provide the increased flexibility in network deployment practices and certainty in timelines, processes and outcomes necessary for industry to make the very significant investments required to meet the ever-increasing demand for advanced communications services from Australian businesses and communities.

The Associations also noted that the amendments will be important for not only meeting the immediate demands placed on industry to provide advanced communications services but will be vital in facilitating the imminent evolution to the new 5G networks in the very near future. 

With the quantum leap in expansion of speed and range of services which such networks will supply to communities and businesses, the potential gains from these amendments will only increase

The submission was part of AMTA’s comprehensive package of activities to assist the industry in aligning with government to facilitate the implementation of the next evolution of mobility for Australia, reminding regulators that continued flexibility in network deployment regulation must remain the goal of governments and industry alike if the promise of the 5G future is to be fully realised.

3 August 2017

 

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