Review finds Radio Licensing Regime working well
12 August 2009
A review of the radio licensing regime has found that the regime as a whole is working well. No major changes are proposed as a result of the review.
The radio spectrum is a significant resource for New Zealand’s information technology and communications infrastructure and supports a wide range of public and private uses including public safety, emergency and defence services. As such, it is important to ensure that spectrum management continues to meet the changing needs of private and public users in order to maximise the value of spectrum to New Zealand society.
This was the first comprehensive examination of the radio licensing regime since the enactment of the Radiocommunications Act in 1989. The review considered a technical report into the utilization of radio licences, a discussion document into management of the radio licensing regime, and stakeholders’ feedback on the discussion document.
The licensing regime was shown to be broadly effective, with a few exceptions, such as studio-to-transmitter link spectrum in major centres, where supply may not currently be meeting demand. Stakeholders largely endorsed the way the Ministry of Economic Development approaches issues, such as congestion, when they arise. Some limited interest was shown by submitters in potential options that may further improve the licensing regime.
Based on this feedback, the regime will be retained in its current form, but it is acknowledged that there are opportunities for minor improvements. In response, the Ministry intends to strengthen its forecasting of trends in spectrum use under the radio licensing regime. It will do this through ongoing reviews of demand (in order to better address bottlenecks before they occur) and by adopting a more systematic and proactive approach to enabling new emerging technologies.