Spectrum auctions in the ACMA
Generally, where supply of a particular spectrum band exceeds demand, the ACMA allocates the spectrum over the counter, upon application, for an issue charge and an annual set fee. But where demand for a particular spectrum band is likely to exceed supply, the ACMA will allocate licences by sale at auction.
Because of the extensive planning, consultation and preparation involved, spectrum auctions are irregular events, and are most often used where there is strong competition for scarce spectrum with a high commercial value. They are seen as a transparent, price-based method for allocating the spectrum within a particular band in discrete parcels known as spectrum lots, which are defined by geographic area and frequency bandwidth. The combination of frequency bandwidth and geographic area is termed spectrum space.
A successful bidder may acquire a number of lots at auction. The buyer can combine or aggregate any contiguous lots to form broader spectrum spaces of greater utility. These aggregated lots can be used in accordance with access licence conditions so that any technology or service can be operated within the spectrum space, depending on its size and shape, without interfering with neighbouring services.
Simultaneous multi-round ascending (SMRA) and combinatorial clock (CCA) auction capability
The ACMA maintains both simultaneous multi-round ascending and combinatorial clock auction capability.
The ACMA has engaged Computech Inc, a company based in the United States, to provide SMRA auction software and services for future spectrum allocations. Computech has provided similar software and services to regulators around the world including the American Federal Communications Commission (FCC). More information about Computech may be found on its website.
Power Auctions (LLC) is providing CCA software to support the upcoming digital dividend auction. More information is available on the ACMA's Engage site.
- Types of auctions used by international spectrum regulators
- List of auctions held, currently being held, or about to be held by the ACMA
- How to participate in auctions.