Australian telco Optus has given its support to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional, Development and Communications’ Media Reform Green Paper – Modernising broadcast regulation in Australia (the Green Paper) saying that re-allocation of the “undervalued” 600MHz band is key to capturing AUD$130 billion in economic gains.
Andrew Sheridan, Optus Vice President Regulatory and Public Affairs, said: “The Green Paper opens up a ‘win-win’ reform opportunity which both addresses pressing broadcasting industry issues and, importantly, advances the nation toward achieving its digital economy vision.
“Re-allocating the undervalued 600 MHz band for critical mobile internet enables Australia to achieve a second digital dividend, further strengthening competitive national mobile networks, which will increasingly provide the basis for Australia’s future digital economy. 600 MHz band is already successfully deployed as part of 5G in North America and Australia must not be left behind.”
“The first digital dividend opened up the era of high speed mobile broadband, enabling streaming of video over mobile devices which allows applications such as TeleHealth, Teams or Zoom for business meetings, or SVOD and BVOD entertainment which are now so heavily relied on by Australian consumers and businesses.
“A second digital dividend presents similar opportunities, while at the same time driving even further economic benefits from the digital economy. This approach will help deliver a potential additional $130 billion of economic growth, including 205,000 net new jobs, over the next decade to 2030 by increasing the breadth and quality of 5G networks today and 6G tomorrow. This is particularly important for our rural and regional areas.”
Optus says a key consideration to deliver these outcomes is whether there are viable alternative methods to deliver streamed video content to all Australian businesses and households.
“Optus can confirm that alternatives to traditional terrestrial broadcasting already exist and there will be even more multicast over IP and satellite options in the very near future,” said Andrew Sheridan. “High-speed broadband infrastructure, such as the NBN, high-speed mobile networks, and satellite delivery platforms provide viable commercial options across metropolitan, regional, rural and remote areas.
“We are particularly excited about future satellite delivery, where soon-to-be-available technology offers significant new capabilities that support mass delivery of broadcasting services. The use of this technology should reassure Australians, no matter where they are located, that they will not miss out on having news and content delivered wherever they live.”