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Rural spectrum availability announced

8 September 2008

MEDIA STATEMENT

For immediate release


Rural spectrum availability announced

The Ministry of Economic Development (MED) today announced the availability of the remaining lots of 3.5 GHz radio spectrum area licences suitable for wireless broadband services.

``The licences are mainly located in rural and provincial areas and are the residual lots left over from the earlier allocation processes run by MED to support the government’s ‘better broadband’ strategy,’’ said Brian Miller, MED’s Manager, Radio Spectrum Policy and Planning. ``They can be used as an alternative to cable-based networks for broadband internet connections in these areas.’’

The licences cover areas defined by the boundaries of territorial local authorities.

``The last 37 lots are now available,’’ Mr Miller said. ``Applications will be considered as they are submitted and, where there is no competition, licences will be granted at the reserve price. Licences for which there are competing interests will be offered at tender to the parties concerned.’’

Further details (including in relation to cap and price) are available on the MED website, http://www.rsm.govt.nz/cms/policy-and-planning/spectrum-auctions/fixed-wireless-access.


Background

The spectrum, managed by the Ministry of Economic Development, consists of two blocks of spectrum at 3.5 GHz retained by the Crown at the time nation-wide rights to similar spectrum were auctioned in late 2002. Licences are available for specific geographic areas corresponding with territorial local authority boundaries. Access to licences is on a commercial basis and restrictions on use and eligibility promote use of the spectrum in accordance with the government’s objectives.


ENDS

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