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Australian Spectrum sell off


Peter Mega
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Hi,

Our Government has announced that a decision has been made to sell off a 126Mhz spectrum, see below.

694 - 820Mhz will be sold off, lets see what actually happens and how much our radio mics will be affected or made illegal.

Peter Mega

Press release from the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, today announced the Australian Government has decided to release 126 Megahertz of broadcasting spectrum as a digital dividend.

The decision was made following extensive public consultation through the Digital Dividend Green Paper.

This spectrum will become available as a result of the switch to digital-only television broadcasting, which will be completed in Australia by 31 December 2013.

"Once analog television signals have been completely switched off and the spectrum subsequently cleared of other users, 126MHz of spectrum will be freed-up," Senator Conroy said.

This presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve communication services available in Australia, This spectrum is known as the ‘digital dividend’."

The digital dividend will be released as a contiguous block of spectrum in the upper ultra-high frequency (UHF) band, comprising the frequency range 694 to 820 MHz inclusive.

"The Government’s decision on the size and location of the digital dividend is a crucial step in the process of releasing spectrum to enable next generation communications services," Senator Conroy said.

"This decision will allow the necessary work on digital channel planning and the auction of the spectrum to commence."

UHF spectrum currently used for broadcasting services is highly valued for delivering wireless communications services, including super-fast mobile broadband. It is able to carry signals over long distances, penetrate buildings and carry large amounts of data.

Releasing the digital dividend is an historic micro-economic reform.

"The ability to have high capacity internet access in a range of locations is proving valuable to users of 3G networks both in Australia and overseas, and demand is growing rapidly," Senator Conroy said.

Wireless broadband is an important complement to fixed line services, and the release of this spectrum will enhance and support the services that will be enabled by the Government’s investment in the National Broadband Network."

In its submission to the Digital Dividend green paper, the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) indicated that Australia’s economy could be boosted by up to $10 billion if at least 120 megahertz of usable spectrum is unlocked from the digital dividend.

"A contiguous dividend of 126 MHz will deliver substantial connectivity and productivity benefits for Australia, while ensuring that the high quality free-to-air television that Australians enjoy will continue," Senator Conroy said.

The Government aims to auction the digital dividend spectrum in the second half of 2012, allowing successful bidders ample time to plan and deploy the next generation networks that are likely to utilise the spectrum.

In order to release this highly valued spectrum, broadcasting services will need to be relocated out of the digital dividend spectrum and organised more efficiently within their remaining spectrum allocation. This process is known as ‘restacking’.

"My Department, along with the Australian Communications and Media Authority, will work with broadcasters and other stakeholders to plan and implement the restack of television channels," Senator Conroy said.

The Government intends that the digital dividend spectrum be cleared as soon as possible after the switch-off of analog television services on 31 December 2013.

The digital dividend green paper and copies of submissions received can be found at: www.dbcde.gov.au/digitaldividend.

The Australian Government is committed to building the infrastructure and creating the appropriate regulatory framework that will underpin the development of the Digital Economy and bring significant social and economic benefits to all Australians.

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Hi,

Our Government has announced that a decision has been made to sell off a 126Mhz spectrum, see below.

694 - 820Mhz will be sold off, lets see what actually happens and how much our radio mics will be affected or made illegal.

Peter Mega

Basically anything over Blk 27 will be useless??

Is that right?

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I have just come off a major doco for one of the big telcos in Australia, and the 126mhz of spectrum between 694mhz and 820mhz  is being auctioned off for 4G wireless internet. Very large chunks of this range will be used constantly, as wider frequency ranges for a single 4G provider give higher data throughput (rather than just say 5 separated TV channels within a block). I'm not sure that what I've written there makes sense, so here's a link to an article that does. A good biscuit analogy.

http://apcmag.com/4g-is-coming.htm

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Basically anything over Blk 27 will be useless?

I dunno about "useless," but if it's like the U.S. FCC deal, it'll probably be illegal. Block 27 (for Lectro) encompasses 691.2MHz - 716.7Mhz, so there might be a couple of frequencies on the lower side that could work.

--Marc W.

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I wish I knew more but I think its a waiting game to see what actually happens.

Maybe my Lectro block 22's (which aren't great right now) might become good again after the TV channel's "restacking". Here's hoping!! A bit like bell bottom jeans, if you wait long enough, they'll come back into fashion. My 22's could be the same with any luck!!

My 29's on the other hand.....

Not to mention my BLK 31 Zaxcom hop....

Both in the 694 - 820Mhz range.

Finger's crossed.

Cheers

Peter Mega

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" Finger's crossed. "

it will take years to unfold!

How long has it been (years already!) and folks are still using those blocks in the USA, and with excellent results, even as the same usual suspects bought the spectrum in the USA for 4G uses...

calm down, the sky is still not falling!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here's some more info...

http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD..PC/pc=PC_312475

This question "What if I want/need to buy new equipment now?" vaguely answered under "contents"

After "restacking", good blocks now, for example Lectro block 24 may become not so good if a DTV station is restacked into that range.

Its a waiting game.

Peter Mega

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No worries Tim, glad you find the info usefull.

Let me know if you're ever coming to Sydney for a shoot and I can give you specific TV channel frequency's and what to avoid etc.

This goes for anyone by the way!!

Cheers

Peter Mega

Oh, I better put in a clause to say I can only give advice based on what info I have at the time and that its only advice, do with it what you will.

After reading a recent/current thread, I wouldn't want to be the cause of any bad decisions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Hey Peter, I may have some not-wireless-critical work coming up in Sydney, but it'd be nice to know if I'm likely to see any troubles with Block 26. Have you ever encountered any regions in your work where B26 has been crowded?

Cheers.

Hi Justin,

Have a look at the TV freqs list here (dated FEB 2011)

http://cinemasound.ning.com/group/aussiesound/forum/topics/tv-frequency-lists

These docs have every TV transmitter in Australia. The docs are the same but one is in callsign order (callsign order is easier if you know the callsign) and the other in channel order.

Look at all the main trasmitters in Sydney and Kings Cross + Manly/Mosman translator/repeators for exaxct frequencies.

For example...

ATN 48 is on 669.5

ATN 49 is on 674.25

Both in the middle of block 26

I think even when you avoid these freqs, the rx's can get swamped just by being in the same range.

TCN 52 is on 695.25 (not in block 26 but close)

These 3 are at the Kings Cross site.

Theres many more just find them.

Look for ABC, SBS, TCN, TEN and ATN callsigns.

I dont own Block 26 but I've used them quite alot in Sydney. I'm gonna sound like the Senator here but it depends on where you are.

I've seen some awful scans on 26 but have made it work regardless.

Overall, I think 26 isn't too bad but since I dont use 26 on a daily basis, its a bit hard for me to say accurately. I'm pretty sure you should be okay when you have to bust out the rads.

Got any other blocks you could use, if so what are they?

Cheers

Peter Mega

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Well, my senn g3's are in 21-22 (the blocks senn designate overlap lectro etc blocks)... I'll have a look at the link you posted and see what I can do, or have to maybe hire. Thanks for the info. And if worst comes to worst, I'll just record at the pack (Zax) on my b26's.

Cheers.

SBS has transmitters in Block 21 and 22 also.

SBS 527.25(in Blk 21)

SBS digital 571.5 (in blk 22)

SBS Kings Cross transmitter 737.25 (in block 28)

I dont think you'll need to hire. Unless you're trying to do long range stuff, you'll be right.

Having said that, I got some amazing range at Bondi recently with my Blk 29's!!!

Cheers

Mega

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Those lists are great, but yes, amazing that there's anything that works anywhere. If only the lists were location based, so you could look up where you were going, and see what frequencies you'd have to work around.

And don't worry about 'sounding like the Senator'. Just good, solid advice with not a trace of anything that could even possibly be perceived as arrogance or attitude. Not saying that that's what he does, though I can see how it can present that way through the emotional separation of text on a screen...anyway, this has been very helpful, thanks!

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Hey Pete!

And hi Justin.

I currently use 3 lectro's in block 26, and have had no trouble what so ever in most parts around Sydney. As Pete said, some places are better than others, but there is always enough to get by.

Cheers and Goodluck

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These lists from ACMA might help when searching for where you're going. Although they dont show frequencies (only channels) you can cross reference with the other docs I posted a link to.

Found here

http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_90056

Hope it helps.

Cheers

Peter Mega

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,

Justin we use block 26 for our radio mics at the abc, in Sydney, field ops (programs) and block 24 on our new Lectr SR hops,

block 31 on our old micron hops, all good most of the time.

We get a few hits around rose bay and circular quay and reduced range around Kings Cross,

But we can always find a useable freq.

Cheers

Gav

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