Parliamentary 5G inquiry
In September, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts announced an Inquiry into the deployment, adoption and application of 5G in Australia. The terms of reference of the Inquiry are:
The Committee will:
Investigate the capability, capacity and deployment of 5G;
Understand the application of 5G, including use cases for enterprise and government.
Matters relating to national security are out of scope for this Committee.
AMTA and Communications Alliance made a submission to the Committee that:
- outlines the potential benefits of 5G for Australian society and the economy;
- highlights a few of the many use cases for 5G;
- addresses community health concerns about 5G and small cells; and
- outlines how Government can work with industry and across key portfolios, to ensure that policy and regulatory settings support efficient deployment of networks, including timely spectrum allocation, and that there is broad community support for and understanding of the economic and social benefits of 5G.
The Committee has since received many submissions from members of the public who are concerned about the impact 5G could have on human health and the environment. While the industry submissions addressed these concerns, we note that the ARPANSA (Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency) submission unequivocally states:
“ARPANSA’s assessment is that 5G is safe.”
AMTA’s industry submission stated that 5G networks will transform the way Australians live and work and we must ensure that the enabling effects of this next generation technology are fully realised and shared across the whole community.
It is in Australia’s national interest that the transition to 5G is fast-tracked so that the economic, productivity and social benefits can be realised sooner.
This will require a co-ordinated policy approach from all levels of Government, working with industry and across key portfolios, to ensure that policy and regulatory settings support efficient network deployment, including timely spectrum allocation and that there is broad community support for and understanding of the economic and social benefits of 5G.
We therefore called for Government to play a greater role in leading a strategy to work with all levels of government and industry to promote a pathway to 5G including building awareness around the potential benefits of 5G within the public sector itself as well as across industries and enterprise.
You can read the full submission here.