Issue No 30: 19 December 2018
New Industry Code to Improve Consultation with Local Community and Councils for Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment
The Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment Code is designed to:
The revised Code now requires Carriers to notify owners and occupiers of residences in immediate vicinity (or close proximity for community sensitive locations) of a proposed site, as well as the local council, and to invite comments on the proposal. Signs must be displayed at the proposed site and construction must not begin until feedback received has been responded to.
The revised Code now also includes the deployment of small cell infrastructure which uses similar deployment processes to those already existing for other mobile infrastructure and that were contained in previous versions of the Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment Code. The formalisation of a consistent approach across small cell and other mobile infrastructure will assist carriers, councils and the community to more easily engage in discussions on the deployment of ever important telecommunications infrastructure, especially as the industry moves closer to 5G.
Refinements have also been made relating to the handling of complaints, changes to Australia Post’s standard delivery times, blackout periods for notifications and changes to the methods of notifying stakeholders.
Australian Space Agency’s Draft Cost Recovery Implementation Statement
The Communications Alliance Satellite Services Working Group provided a submission on the Space Agency’s draft cost recovery implementation statement (CRIS) proposing a cost recovery model for the Agency’s assessment of applications for space activities. These activities include launch facility licences, launch permits, high-power rocket permits, overseas payload permits and space object return authorisations.
The model being proposed by the Agency proposes a set and a variable fee and also options of full or partial cost recovery. The SSWG raised a concern with a full/partial cost recovery model as this may introduce unnecessary complexity and could lead to greater unpredictability for the industry. The SSWG also questioned what appeared to be excessively high estimates of the application costs, based on previous experience. The SSWG felt that the estimates of fees and charges provided in the Draft Statement may potentially pose a disincentive to investment, innovation and the creation of an Australian space industry.
Submission to the ACMA on Proposed Changes to Annual Apparatus Licence Taxes
The Communications Alliance Satellite Services Working Group (SSWG) has made a submission in response to an ACMA consultation on proposed amendments to two determinations that set out annual apparatus licence taxes on apparatus (transmitter and receiver) licences, including a CPI adjustment to account for the effects of inflation.
Noting that there will be a future review of all radiocommunications licensing fees, charges and taxes under a future Spectrum Pricing Review, the SSWG has taken this opportunity to suggest that a future review should include a full review of Earth Station and Space Station licence fees and charges which considers these services’ ability to share spectrum.
Industry Rejects Calls to Provide Government with Free Emergency Alerts
Communications Alliance welcomed a discussion about the respective roles and responsibilities in relation to emergency services but rejected calls from the Queensland Government for mobile carriers to provide emergency alerts without compensation.
“Mobile carriers are very conscious about their responsibilities during an emergency and they spend a lot of resources to provide Government and the community with a range of vital and complex technologies that facilitate various emergency-related features, including emergency alerts”, commented Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton.
“These technologies are far from simple and are subject to commercial arrangements between Government and the mobile carriers. Upon Government’s request, mobile carriers have put in place the sophisticated technology to be able to prioritise and deliver alerts across mobile and fixed networks with millions of messages sent across Australia each year. At its inception in 2009, Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments decided that those services would be provided on a national basis with fees charged to Government but no direct fees payable by the recipients of emergency alerts. In line with those agreements, mobile operators ought to be compensated for the services they provide.
“Mobile operators have a strong track record of assisting the victims of natural disasters in a number of ways, including through giving free handsets to those whose devices have been destroyed and providing assistance with the costs of staying connected. Mobile operators are also using special ‘cells on wheels’ in areas where mobile infrastructure has been destroyed to boost connectivity during such critical times.
“Our industry will continue to ensure that Australians benefit from state-of-the-art emergency systems. For example, work is underway to further improve location accuracy for emergency calls to allow emergency crews to have access to more detailed information about where a person in need may be located. And of course, mobile carriers continue to provide emergency calls without compensation and free of charge to the caller,” concluded Mr Stanton.
Communications Alliance is Seeking Expressions of Interest for Representatives for the Following Three Working Committees:
Expressions of Interest for membership of the above Committees will be assessed on the basis of achieving appropriate and balanced representation of interested, affected sectors. Membership of Communications Alliance Working Committees is on a voluntary basis. It is expected that Working Committee members both attend regular meetings and contribute time outside the meetings.
The terms of reference for WC87, WC88 and WC89 are in the respective information packs and these plus nomination forms are available here.
Information packs are also available from Communications Alliance by telephoning (02) 9959 9111 or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The first committee meeting will be held after the call for nominations close.
Expressions of Interest for each of the three Communications Alliance Working Committees should be lodged, preferably by email, with:
Alternatively, Expressions of Interest can be forwarded to:
Applications close at 5.00 pm AEDT on Wednesday 6 February 2019
Season’s Greetings and Best Wishes for the New Year