Thursday, 30 January 2020 02:54

Need for licensing framework for space-based communications networks, says Communications Alliance Featured

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A clear licensing framework is needed for space-based communications networks and systems, according to telecommunications lobby group Communications Alliance, which has welcomed the telecoms regulator ACMA’s intention to undertake a staged revision of the assessment of all space/space receive and earth/earth receive apparatus licences.

“We concur with the principles underpinning the revisions - i.e. to ensure that Australia’s obligations as a member of the ITU are met - while seeking to minimise the regulatory burden placed on industry,” says the Communications Alliance Satellite Services Working Group (SSWG) in a discussion paper to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

“Furthermore, the ACMA’s licensing procedures have, over time,become subject to interaction with a range of subordinate legislation. The procedures would benefit, we believe, from simplification and greater clarity of presentation and visibility.

“This Discussion Paper represents a good step forward, with the request for comments on two (out of four) specific Business Operating Procedures (BOPs).

“It comes at a time when the satellite industry is seeing ubiquitous operation of earth stations needed to interact with numerous new multi-satellite constellations, while High-Throughput Satellites are also proliferating alongside more ‘traditional’ geostationary systems.

“These developments further heighten the importance of a clear licensing framework, especially for space-based networks and systems.

“The two BOPs relating to Earth Stations in Motion (ESIM)in the Ka-band are not the subject of this Discussion Paper- these will be dealt with later but will nevertheless be drawn into the objective of consistency across the board.

“This leaves this discussion paper to concentrate on earth and earth receive apparatus licences and space and space receive licences, taking into account previous changes to the specific case of Ku-band licensing which have general application."

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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