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Spectrum allocation

Date: 

The radiofrequency spectrum is now at the centre of communications policy, with all governments looking for the best way to meet competing demands. Telcos, broadcasters and others depend on spectrum to survive. Some governments use auctions for allocation. Others select on merit. Each approach has dozens of variants. And issues are different for 3G mobile, digital broadcasting, and basic infrastructure such as microwave links. Which approach, for which application, best serves users, industry players, government revenue and public policy? This seminar was to compare experience from around the region, and to help identify best practice.

 

Seminar Program

Session 1: Defining the issues
Tony Shaw, Chairman, Australian Communications Authority Power Point
Professor Reg Coutts, Director, Centre for Telecommunications Information Networking Power Point

Session 2: Experience and prospects in East Asia
Dr. Seungtaik Yang, President, Information and Communications University, Korea Power Point
Rob Nicholls, Partner, Gilbert & Tobin and adviser to Arculli & Associates, Hong Kong Power Point
W.I.Widiastuty, Director of Frequencey Planning, D.G.POSTEL, Ministry of Communication, Indonesia Power Point

Session 3: Global standards and strategies
John Deasy
, Chief, Multilateral and Development Branch, Telecommunications Division, Federal Communications Commission, USA Power Point
Charles Dodgson, Director, Words on Asia
Professor Peter Darling, Network Insight Group Power Point

Session 4: Making it happen in practice
Tony Bundrock
, National General Manager, On Air Convergence, Telstra
Randell Heyman, Spectrum Desk
Clive Morton, Broadcast Services Director, ntl Australia
Ian Hayne, Managing Director, Market Dynamics

Issues included:

  • What is the asset? A spectrum property right? Permission to use a public asset? Or something else?
  • How long should licences last, and what happens on the expiry date? What expectation of renewal?
  • Infrastructure investment: How to reward licensees for investing and serving isolated areas? And will investment cease in the last years of a licence?
  • Is there a real expectation of renewal, and how can licensees plan for the long term?
  • Upfront fees, royalties or taxes: what gives the best results to end-users and service providers
  • Auction design: encouraging competition, efficient allocation of spectrum, revenue maximisation.
  • Allocation by merit: pros and cons, and can a ‘beauty contest’ be combined with an auction? Middle ground and mix-and-match combinations.
  • Comparing national strategies and state of play, especially in East Asia. Are the UK and German 3G auctions relevant to Asia?
  • Does lowering the cost for operators benefit consumers through more coverage, more services and lower prices?
  • Different approaches to spectrum allocation: 3G vs. digital TV vs. analogue TV vs microwave links. Diverse or uniform policies?
  • Where should the proceeds go: into general government coffers, into a dedicated communications development fund, or somewhere else?


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