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Oz sets $AU900 million reserve for remaining 700 MHz spectrum

Emergency services shunted to 800 MHz

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The federal government has decided to set a price of $AU900 million on the 700 MHz spectrum that remained unsold after auctions earlier this year, and in the process has closed off any chance that the spectrum would be given to the country's public safety agencies.

The ministerial direction sets the price of the unsold spectrum at $1.36 per megahertz/population, a price that Telstra had recently lobbied the government to use. It's also the same reserve price as was used in the recent auction.

Procedures for flogging the 30 MHz that was unsold after the auctions are to be prepared by the Australian Communications and Media Authority by 1 September 2013.

Meanwhile, the ACMA has advised the minister that public safety needs are best served by an allocation in the 800 MHz band. This was considered as an alternative to a 700 MHz allocation in the recent parliamentary committee report into public safety agency communication requirements.

States and territories have been invited to make submissions to the Authority regarding allocation of that spectrum. ®

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