The Turnbull Government has given the go-ahead for the 3.6GHz spectrum auction but it has failed to explain how it will address the concerns of regional-based Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs). These WISPs are non-NBN wireless broadband providers who are currently transmitting in the 3.6 GHz spectrum.
Some 200,000 regional Australians rely on these innovative regional businesses for work, business and studies yet the WISPs continue to be locked out of discussions with the Government. Labor supports the planned spectrum auction and welcomes moves to clear the way for higher-value 5G services. Labor also believes the very real concerns of the WISPs have not been adequately addressed.
The ACMA proposal for WISPs to move to the 5.6GHz spectrum used by the Bureau of Meteorology is highly problematic. Squeezing WISPs onto a narrow band of spectrum currently used by BOM for an essential service such as weather radar is not without risks of interference.
It’s time the Government get serious and work with WISPs and BOM to find a workable solution to these issues.
Stephen Jones MP
Shadow Minister for Regional Communications