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More broadband wireless spectrum released

Hon David Cunliffe
Minister of Communications

Further radio spectrum for broadband wireless access has been made available with changes made to the General User Radio Licence for short range devices, says Communications Minister David Cunliffe.

"Low cost access to radio spectrum suitable for broadband wireless applications is part of the Labour-led government's commitment to providing better and more competitive access to broadband services for all New Zealanders," Mr Cunliffe said.

"The government has opened the 5.4 and 60 GHz radio frequency bands as 'public park' spectrum for broadband wireless services suitable for Internet Service Providers wishing to expand their local area networks or extend the reach of existing fibre optic networks."

The radio spectrum at 5.4 and 60GHz was previously sparsely utilised for meteorological radar and video linking respectively. As transmissions licensed under the General User Radio Licence must implement measures to minimise interference to other transmissions, the previously licensed users may continue to operate without being unduly impacted.

"Ensuring New Zealanders can access improved Internet generally, but wireless broadband services in particular, is key for the transformation of the New Zealand economy," Mr Cunliffe said.

The government will provide further access to radio spectrum suitable for the delivery of broadband wireless access via an auction of 2.3 GHz spectrum later this year.

The new licence will be loaded to the MED internet today at the URL:

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Access to the new spectrum is enabled via amendment to the Radiocommunications (General User Radio Licence for Short Range Devices) Notice 2007, which does not attract a licence fee.

The General User Radio Licence contains conditions to ensure that broadband wireless equipment operating in the 5.4 GHz band does not cause interference to existing radar operations that share the band. Access to the 5.4 GHz band augments access to the 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz bands and more than doubles the spectrum available for providing radio local area networking.

The General User Radio Licence also contains conditions to ensure that broadband wireless access equipment operating in the 60 GHz band minimises interference, and maximises reliability and utility within the band.

60 GHz equipment commonly provides short-range (~1 Km) high capacity (1 Gbit/sec) point-to-point links used to extend the reach of fibre-optic cabling, and/or to provide high speed short range backhaul for telecommunications network infrastructure.


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