ACMA calls for unified, nationwide industry approaches to smart grid spectrum - 01 Oct 2009

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has announced it will continue to work closely with the electricity industry to find the right spectrum solutions. The issue of radiofrequency spectrum requirements for the rollout of ‘smart' electricity grids was the subject of a Smart Grids Roundtable in Brisbane in late August, which brought together the Australian Communications and Media Authority and power utilities from most states and territories.

A number of Australian power utilities are planning to roll out smart grids across their networks to support their monitoring, automation and communications needs. Energy Networks Australia (ENA), which hosted the roundtable, outlined the need for a high reliability ‘machine to machine' network with voice capability, which would require spectrum at or below 2.5 GHz.

With spectrum in the bands most sought after by utilities being scarce and highly valued, the ACMA presented a range of options to the utilities, including participation in future spectrum allocations, the purchase of existing spectrum licences and sharing with other industries with similar network requirements.

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