Have your say
The ACMA received three submissions to this consultation—these can be accessed from the right hand side index box. The ACMA is reviewing submissions.
The submissions received all expressed support for the proposal to remake the Technical Planning Guidelines. The ACMA will take into consideration the suggestions offered by submitters when drafting the final instrument.
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Automatic sunsetting of legislative instrument –– Proposal to remake the Broadcasting Services (Technical Planning) Guidelines 2007
Draft Broadcasting Services (Technical Planning) Guidelines 2017
Proposed list of legislative instruments subject to consequential amendment
The ACMA is seeking comment on the proposal to revoke and remake the Broadcasting Services (Technical Planning) Guidelines 2007 (2007 TPGs).
Under Part 4 of Chapter 3 of the Legislation Act 2003, most legislative instruments ‘sunset’ (that is, they are repealed automatically) on the 1 April or 1 October that first occurs 10 years after they were registered on the Federal Register of Legislation. The 2007 TPGs will sunset on 1 October 2017, unless it is revoked and remade before that date. Read further information about sunsetting.
The ACMA considers that the TPGs form a necessary and useful part of the legislative framework. Accordingly, the ACMA proposes to remake the instrument before it sunsets, with necessary changes, so that its ongoing effect is preserved
The ACMA also considers that in remaking the TPGs, the new guidelines need to be brought up-to-date. This means making changes to both the content and structure, which are reflected in the proposed draft guidelines. In proposing these changes, the ACMA has been able to significantly reduce the size and complexity of the proposed legislative instrument that will replace the 2007 TPGs.
The proposed Broadcasting Services (Technical Planning) Guidelines 2017 (the 2017 TPGs):
- do not change the substantive obligations imposed upon persons to whom the 2007 TPGs apply
- retain the overarching tripartite structure of the 2007 TPGs by maintaining the separation of requirements about ‘start up procedures’, ‘change of transmitter site’, and other requirements including coverage, interference and field strength
- specify, wherever possible, ongoing technical requirements in a concise and service-neutral way
- provide flexibility about the test transmissions notification—the changes seek to address the concerns raised by the industry about the relevance of the requirements in the current TPGs to place advertisements in newspapers advertising new and changed transmission facilities
- remove all redundant provisions such as those about analog TV
- remove content that should not be included in a legislative instrument because it is merely advisory—the new TPGS will only contain mandatory requirements.
The proposed replacement instrument––the draft Broadcasting Services (Technical Planning) Guidelines 2017––is available from the ‘Downloads’ table above.
The 2007 TPGs were made under section 33 of the BSA. Section 33 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 provides that the ACMA is to develop written guidelines for the technical planning of individual services that use the broadcasting services bands as a means of delivery.
The 2007 TPGs set out technical requirements for particular licensees for planning and operating new or existing transmission facilities.
The 2007 TPGs contain technical requirements relating to:
- site restrictions and site tolerances
- maximum and minimum radiated power
- maximum permitted field strength
- interference to other services
- radiated signal characteristics
- test procedures to be followed when establishing transmission facilities.
The 2007 TPGs, when read in conjunction with a licence area plan, television licence area plan or digital radio channel plan that applies to a transmitter licence, provide a ‘technical envelope’ within which relevant licensees can plan, make changes to, and operate, their transmission facilities.
Broadly speaking, there are four main issues with the current TPGs that need to be addressed:
- The current TPGs contain information that is not suited to current legislative drafting and is better located outside the TPGs; such as information that is historical, advisory or policy-based.
- The current TPGs contain redundant provisions about analog television and the conversion to digital transmission mode that have served their purpose.
- Technical requirements are specified based on service and/or transmission mode, which does not lend itself to a concise way of specifying common technical requirements.
- The ‘start up procedure’ in Part 1 of the TPGs contains an outmoded notification requirement involving newspaper advertising.
Sunsetting issues for comment
The ACMA considers that the TPGs form a necessary and useful part of the legislative framework. Accordingly, the ACMA proposes to remake the instrument before it sunsets, with necessary changes, so that its ongoing effect is preserved.
Opportunity to provide feedback
The ACMA welcomes comments from stakeholders on its proposal to remake the Broadcasting Services (Technical Planning) Guidelines 2007 on the basis that the instrument is operating effectively and efficiently.