The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is interested to hear views on whether the current ways of accessing (licensing) spectrum on a local or regional basis are working well, or whether there are good reasons that the nationwide “management rights” regime should be adapted to apply on a regional basis.

At the present time, one of the main ways to access spectrum in New Zealand is via the management rights regime. Management rights are nationwide rights to manage spectrum in frequencies covered by the right. These are property rights created under the Radiocommunications Act 1989, lasting up to 20 years. Owners of management rights can issue spectrum licences to themselves and to third parties. Management rights have usually been allocated using a competitive, market-based system such as an auction.

One current alternative to nationwide management rights is the administrative radio licencing regime. Radio licences issued under this regime on a cost-recovery basis can be renewed on an annual basis, and are specific to particular transmission sites. They are not an absolute property right.

Another way to licence spectrum regionally is by gaining licences in the Crown-owned management rights at 3.5 GHz and the managed spectrum park (MSP) at 2.5 GHz.

MBIE is reviewing the Radiocommunications Act and is interested in feedback on whether there would be demand for management rights to be created on a regional as well as national basis, and if so, what the best ways to technically define the regional rights would be.

Informal feedback can be submitted in this discussion thread. See the consultation page on the RSM website for other ways of submitting. There is a full discussion document available for download on the consultation page. The consultation period closes on 1 October 2014.

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