[LINK] Analogue TV frequencies not just used for TV, so spanner in works of spectrum sale

Stewart Fist stewart_fist at optusnet.com.au
Mon Jan 22 09:35:28 AEDT 2007

> Ofcom spectrum sale hurts more than just the luvvies

I think that spectrum auctions/sales in Australia (and in most of the world)
have been the source of extraordinary wastefulness of this nation's
technological potential over the past few decades.

The income from sales/auctions is just a hidden form of indirect Federal
Government taxation.

The allocation is done in a way that is extraordinarily wasteful in its

The restrictions imposed on spectrum use, mean that 90% of the national
spectrum resource goes unused for most of the time.

It is hard to think of a worse way of allocating resources than this.

Apart from the available TV and radio broadcasting channels, and a few
narrow bands like cellphones, air traffic control and taxi despatch, most of
the rest of the spectrum lies unused for most of the time.

We supposedly use the international spectrum allocation for television
transmission, yet Australia has never used Channels 12 to 27 in the UHF

Yet this is the best part of the UHF band for distance broadcasting (more
important in Australia than elsewhere) -- and it exists as an enormous
spectrum gap from 222MHz up to 526MHz.  This was the obvious region to open
up for digital TV, and this could have been done without needing to destroy
analog channels until they are totally obsolete.

I've never managed to get an answer (that I trust) as to why these channels
were left vacant,  The authorities opened up the high end of the UHF band
for 'so-called business and foreign language' broadcasting at one time,
which meant that a set-top box was needed, because it was off the range of
international TV tuners.  Yet this on-tuner range from 12 to 27 lies vacant.

Has anyone ever heard any sort of a rational explanation?

I've been asking these questions at spectrum conferences for years, but
never had a convincing reply.

Stewart Fist, writer, journalist, film-maker
70 Middle Harbour Road, LINDFIELD, 2070, NSW, Australia
Ph +61 (2) 9416 7458
Glen forwards: 

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