Saturday, 14 November 2020 07:18

Govt accepts less than half of 5G inquiry recommendations

Govt accepts less than half of 5G inquiry recommendations Pixabay

The Australian Government has accepted six of the 14 recommendations made by the 5G inquiry conducted by the House Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts, assessing the deployment, adoption and application of 5G in Australia.

In its response, released late on Friday, the government said it supported the following recommendations:

  • that it work with carriers to boost industry awareness of the benefits of 5G;
  • that it work with ACMA to develop a campaign to respond to concerns about 5G;
  • that it ensure carriers ensure rollout trials are conducted in rural and regional areas;
  • that it review the framwwork to encourage co-location of facilities and equipment were fit for purporse in the 5G environment;
  • that it facilitate talks between carriers, network operators and utility and infrastructure owners to manage redundant or ageing equipment; and
  • that it take steps to speed up spectrum allocation.

But it did not commit to the following recommendations, saying they were either noted or else supported in principle:

  • that it carry out an assessment of existing powers and immunities arrangements;
  • that it recommend carriers work with road and transport infrastructure managers on maintaining safety standards;
  • that it make carriers consider utilising multi-user infrastructure to ensure rural and regional people benefitted from 5G services in a timely manner;
  • that it look at ways to boost manufacture of 5G infrastructure in Australia;
  • that it review current arrangements enforcing network and data security for supply of 5G equipment;
  • that it recommend ARPANSA create a suitable means to speak to the community about safe levels of electromagnetic radiation;
  • that it ask the communications and education departments to review the curricula for ICT TAFE course so that graduates were ready to work when they finished their studies; and
  • that apprenticeships in the ICT sector be increased to help with the 5G rollout.

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association, a lobby group for the mobile industry, welcomed the government's response.

Chief executive Chris Althaus said: "At a time when every opportunity must be taken to enhance productivity and connectivity for our economy and society, the government has signalled its intent to leverage and support 5G, establishing a strong policy platform in response to the parliamentary inquiry.

"The Australian mobile telecommunications industry welcomes this important policy response – particularly the clear direction in relation to critical mobile infrastructure including the allocation of 5G radio frequency spectrum and the commitment to work with industry to streamline network deployment regulation.

"AMTA acknowledges the need for industry to build awareness and trust in 5G applications and services as the 4G/5G ecosystem continues to mature, with the government response explicitly stating 'The higher frequency waves [used for 5G], have been extensively researched and are not hazardous to human health'.

"5G will be essential to realising the potential of industry 4.0 agendas across all sectors of the economy, as well as dramatically enhancing the mobile broadband experience for customers.

"This response lays the foundation for the future of 5G in Australia – a foundation that will be further refined over time to exploit every opportunity on offer through the latest generation mobile technologies, applications and services.

"AMTA appreciates and values the government's reiteration of its commitment to embracing and supporting 5G as a means of COVID-19 recovery and economic growth more broadly. We look forward to working with the government at all levels to realise the potential contribution of 5G to industries, communities and consumers."

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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