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LMR Licence Holders Saved with Deferral of Third Fee Increase.

As most radio communications users in the ACMA ‘High Density’ licence areas know, the ACMA set out several years back to increase the annual licence fees by 15% each year for a five year period to reflect what was felt to be the real value of the spectrum used for LMR services. This was known as Opportunity Cost Pricing (OCP). The first increase was applied in 2015 with the second increase in 2016, even though ARCIA had questioned the underlying basis being used to justify the increases.

Late in 2016, the ACMA gave notice of the proposed implementation of the third increase to take effect in April of 2017. This time ARCIA provided sufficient information to raise real issues with the ACMA data and the subsequent discussions and research supported the ARCIA position. As a result, the third increase was deferred reflecting a saving for LMR licence holders approaching $500pa per licence in the High Density licence areas.

As a result of ongoing discussions and investigations, the possibility of any further OCP licence fee increase in April 2018 has also been deferred. This will represent savings of over $500pa per licence. These savings are a direct result of ARCIA challenging the ACMA data and being able to present information to the discussions based on real-world experience, proving that as an industry and an association we have good knowledge of how our spectrum is utilised.