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Review of the Radio Spectrum Fees Framework

Submissions closed at
11:55pm on Monday, 7 December 2015
Review of Licence Fees Framework - Consultation Document [632KB PDF] PDF Document 632kb


Under the Radiocommunications Act 1989, Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) collects annual fees for all radio and spectrum licences.

RSM released a consultation document in 2015 that proposed changes to the radio spectrum licence fee framework.

RSM sought feedback on the proposed changes, and individual submissions are available for review. The submissions were taken into account when considering changes to the fees framework.

Outcome of the Radio Spectrum fees review

When will the changes be implemented?

The fee changes will take effect on 1 October 2017.

View the new fee categories.


What are the key changes?

Since the last fees review was undertaken, radio spectrum management costs have declined due to a move to online systems and a strong focus on efficiency and cost control. We’re now passing those benefits on to licence holders.

The changes will make the fees regime simpler, by reducing the number of fee categories from 47 to four. This allows for a fair distribution of radio spectrum management fees across licence classes.

  • There will be a standard fee for most licences, set at $150 (annually; including GST). The current average licence fee is around $200 (including GST).
  • There will be an amateur licence fee category for repeaters, beacons and fixed links, set at $50 (annually; including GST).
  • There will be two fee categories for multiple location licences for land mobile radio services only. For licences covering up to a maximum of five locations the fee is $600 (annually; including GST), and for licences covering an unlimited number of locations the fee is $1,500 (annually; including GST).
  • The online payment discount and the licence interference investigation discount have been incorporated into the base fees for all licence categories.
  • A manual payment fee of $25 has been introduced to cover the additional administrative cost of processing manual payments. This fee will apply to payments, such as cash or cheques that are not made through RSM’s online channels.


What you need to know

What do I need to do?

Most commercial and amateur licence users won’t need to do anything for the move to the new fee structure. Licensees will automatically be moved into one of the four new fee categories and see this change reflected on invoices and the Register of Radio Frequencies.

A letter will be sent to those land mobile licensees holding multiple transmitter location licences to confirm which fee class will apply to their licence.

What will happen to land mobile radio licences with multiple locations?

If you have a land mobile radio licence with more than one location, it will now fall into category B or C. RSM will notify these users to inform them of which category their fee will automatically be moved to on 1 October. Licensees will be given three weeks to notify RSM if they wish for their licence to be moved to a different category.

You may wish to consider the structure of your licences in light of the new fee categories. For some multi-location licences, you may reduce your total annual licence fees if you modify your existing licence to a number of individual location licences. If you wish to do this, you will need to engage a radio engineer to create new single location licences and cancel your existing multi-location licence. This may be done at any time. However, you will not incur a licence fee for your existing multi-location licence is cancelled by the 20th of the month following the month the fee falls due for that licence. For example, a licence with fees due on 1 October may be cancelled prior to 20 November without incurring any annual licence fee.

Alternatively, you may have business reasons to transfer an existing multi-location licence with

  • up to five locations to the unlimited location fee category (Category C), or
  • a single location to a multi-location fee category (either Category B or C)

Will amateur licence fees increase?

There will be a small fee increase for amateur beacons, fixed links and repeaters. The new fee will be $50 (incl. GST).

Will RSM provide a rebate if my fees are going down?

RSM will not provide a rebate for fees that go down after 1 October. You are able to cancel your licence and create a new one if you wish to take advantage of the lower fees.

What is happening to General User Licences?

General User Licences are still free to user’s under the new fee structure. RSM, as the administrator will now pay for General User Licences.

What has happened to the licence interference investigation discount?

The licence interference investigation has been incorporated into the base fee for all licence categories and will no longer be applied. Invoices for current LII customers will show this change from 1 October.

What has happened to the online payment discount?

The online payment discount has also been incorporated into the base fee for all licence categories as 99% of licensees pay their fees online.

A manual payment fee of $25 has been introduced to cover the additional administrative cost of processing manual payments. This fee will apply to payments made by cash, cheque, or any other kind of payment other than an electronic payment or any payment by credit card.

Clients with fees due on 30 September will not be penalised for late payment

You may wish to delay payment of fees due on 30 September to take advantage of the lower fees, which come into effect on 1 October. RSM will not be penalising licensees in this situation.

Last updated 1 October 2017