AU to auction digital dividend in April '13

Staff writer
eGov Innovation
The auction of spectrum to deliver the digital dividend in Australia will take place in April 2013, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Stephen Conroy has announced.

"The date has been decided on the expert advice of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) as it would maximize product certainty for bidders prior to the auction and provide new licensees with adequate lead time to plan and deploy networks before their licenses commence," Conroy said.

The digital dividend auction includes spectrum in the 700 MHz band as well as spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band. This spectrum will become available mainly as a result of the switch to digital-only television broadcasting by the end of 2013.

A number of digital TV services will then need to be moved to new channels (or restacked) before the 700 MHz digital dividend spectrum can be made available to successful bidders.

"The release of television spectrum is one of the significant benefits of the digital switchover process. The sale of this spectrum is a unique opportunity to pave the way for next generation mobile broadband services in Australia, such as 4G mobile services," Conroy said.

"The Australian government committed $143.2 million in the 2012-13 Budget to ensure that the spectrum is released in a timely fashion with minimal disruption for viewers," he added.

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