New satellite working group charts way forward for telco industry

The Albanese Government’s new Low Earth Orbit Satellite Working Group has identified four key regulatory areas to guide future telecommunications reform, following its first meeting in Sydney last week.

The Group was established to examine the future role of satellite technology in delivering telecommunications services. The first meeting was attended by a range of telecommunications industry participants, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts, the ACMA, and representatives from the Government’s new First Nations Digital Inclusion Advisory Group.

The four key issues identified by the Group as requiring future consideration include:

  • How satellites can help close the digital inclusion gap, particularly in relation to First Nations peoples consistent with Closing the Gap Target 17;
  • The role of satellites in supporting greater resilience and redundancy in emergency circumstances;
  • The use of satellites to deliver universal telecommunications services; and
  • The economic benefit that could come from greater LEOSat usage, including by facilitating the Internet of Things.

The Group will continue meet to provide advice to Government, and may adjust membership as emerging industry or regulatory issues arise. Its next meeting will take place in the coming months.

There has been significant uptake of LEO satellite technology in recent years, with satellites already delivering internet connectivity across Australia. The Government first announced the formation of the Working Group in October last year.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:

“I welcome the four key areas of reform identified from the first meeting of the Albanese Government’s new Low Earth Orbit Satellite Working Group.

“I thank the industry for the constructive manner in which they approached these important discussions – particularly in relation to closing the First Nations digital inclusions gap.

“I look forward to future meetings with the Working Group, and working with industry to ensure regulations deliver the best outcomes for Australian consumers.