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New competitive opportunities in broadband services



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M e d i a

SENATOR THE HON RICHARD ALSTON

Minister for Communications, the Information Economy amt the Arts Deputy Lender of the Government in the Senate

New Competitive Opportunities in Broadband Services _

The Minister for Communications, the Information Economy and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, today announced the Government’s intention to maximise opportunities for new players to enter Australia’s broadband telecommunications market.

This follows extensive consultation with industry by the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) on the Government’s intention to auction spectrum in the 28 GHz and 31 GHz bands.

This spectrum is particularly suited to Local Multipoint Distribution Services (LMDS)—a broadband wireless service capable of providing local loop services, interactive video, high speed Internet, and a range of advanced multimedia applications. ¬∑=

The release of this spectrum will provide an opportunity for new entrants and further competition in this emerging segment of the market,’ Senator Alston said.

‘And to ensure that new entrants in the market have a better chance of purchasing this spectrum, the Government proposes to impose licence conditions on Telstra and Optus, to prevent them from bidding at the auction.’

Draft licence conditions were today circulated to carriers for consultation.

Depending on the demand for spectrum in the forthcoming 28 GHz and 31 GHz . auction, the ACA intends to recommend that additional spectrum should be available for price-based allocation in the first half of 1999.

Senator Alston indicated that the Government did not envisage imposing similar competition rules in the next allocation process for LMDS spectrum, but would rely on the operation of section 50 of the Trade Practices Act 1974, which deals with anti­ competitive acquisitions.

The draft licence conditions are available on the Department of Communications and the Arts’ website: www.dca.gov.au

R e l e a s e

Media Contact: Terry O’Connor, Minister’s office 0419 636 879 Website www. richardalston. dca.gov.au 171/98 13 August 1998