Radio Frequency in NZ, November 2015

Welcome to the first Radio Frequency in NZ, the new RFUANZ Newsletter with news and information of radio Industry and Spectrum developments in New Zealand and around the world.

Anyone who is a member of RFUANZ or who has subscribed to the newsletter via the website will receive this newsletter. If you know any-one who would like to receive the newsletter please refer them to www.rfuanz.org.nz/subscription to register.

Conference and Exhibition 2016

In September we announced that the organisation of the annual conference and exhibition will be carried out by Westwick Farrow Media in Association with RFUANZ.

The new Conference will be called Comms Connect Wellington.

The Comms Connect Wellington conference will be held on 14 & 15 April 2016 at Te Papa.

We are working on an exciting new program for next year’s conference with national and international speakers reviewing topics and case studies that are applicable to New Zealand.

Further information about the conference will be available on the RFUANZ Website http://www.rfuanz.org.nz/conference/ as well as on the dedicated Comms Connect Wellington 2016 website: www.comms-connect.co.nz

We will also keep you informed about key developments via our newsletters and website.

RFUANZ Dinner & Awards Night 2016

RFUANZ will continue to organise the Gala Dinner and Awards Night. This gives you all again a chance to socialise with your peers in the industry and an opportunity to recognise those individuals who have delivered an outstanding contribution to our industry.

The RFUANZ Gala Dinner and Awards Night will be held on Thursday the 14th of April at Te Wharewaka Function Centre in Wellington.

The venue is situated along the waterfront, just a short walk from Te Papa.

Digital Convergence and the Review of the Radio Communications Act

Radio Industry professionals are familiar with the Review of the Radio Communications Act, and how this may shape the radio industry. The effort going into this review forms part of a wider body of work, namely the regulatory framework required for New Zealand’s Digital Convergence.

Digital Convergence is, in broad terms, the blurring of boundaries between the telecommunications, information technology, media and entertainment industries – also referred to as the TIME sectors – as they start to share a common digital infrastructure. Radio and television delivered over the internet, for instance, are built on the back of modern data processing and compression technology, and of course, made possible by the construction of New Zealand’s Ultra-Fast Broadband network and the Rural Broadband Initiative.

These new, converged services challenge the existing policy and regulatory frameworks. As the pace of technological evolution increases, regulatory regimes may well fall further behind. It is therefore important for regulators and policy-makers to design laws and policies that recognise ongoing convergence and can keep up with rapid change.

In August 2015, Hon Amy Adams, Minister for Communications and Minister of Broadcasting, launched a green paper to consider the impact of convergence in New Zealand, and to start a public debate on this topic.

The digital convergence green paper discusses, amongst others, reviews of the regulatory framework for content classification, telecommunications and radio spectrum, and whether additional infrastructure will be required. The companion website, www.convergencediscussion.nz, mentions regulation and policy in an era of convergence and the need for careful allocation of radio spectrum to ensure competition, as well as the  Review of the Radio Communications Act.

The consultation period for the digital convergence paper has closed and all the submissions will be published on the Convergence Discussion website.

Training Program

The long awaited Training program as promoted by RFUANZ is nearing fruition.

All courses of the Training Program are provided through Skills NZ who organises the necessary Government subsidy and formalities to make this an accredited training program.

The main stumbling block for the program, the anticipated low number of 20 to 30 students per year, has been overcome by accommodating them into already approved training courses, and Gavin Bowden from ETEC , through his industry knowledge, was able to find a place  for us.

To accommodate our training into the Skills system our options were limited to:

NZ Certificate in Customer Premises’ Systems:

With Strands in:

  • Structured Cabling
  • Control and Automation
  • Signal Reception and Distribution Systems
  • System Installation for Relocatable and / or Mobile Locations

Our industry comes under System Installations for Relocatable and / or Mobile Locations.

The Training providers of these courses entered into discussions with the Related Radio Industry and have formulated a program through meetings in Auckland that will meet the system requirements. The program was approved by the industry representatives and then lodged with Skills NZ for approval. 

This approval was finally granted mid 2015 with the program now being fully accredited.

The final hurdle is still under way with Skills having to approve this into the annual contract as a variation and to ensure the Pre Moderation for the program approval is happening.

It is anticipated that this will be all signed off soon and we can get on with an approved training program that is Government subsidised such that the course cost of approx $3600  is 2/3 paid for by the Government.

The first training course is the Electro-technical level 3, which is the equivalent of the installers training program.

The Electro-technical Level 4 program will follow later next year and is the approximate equivalent of the old RTC program.

We will have more updated information available soon and this will include information on course content and how and where this will be delivered.

Please address any enquiries to Laurie@colvin.co.nz and early indications of interest will be rewarded with the latest in up to date information on progress

Spectrum review in the European Union

The Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG), the high-level advisory group that assists the European Commission in the development of its radio spectrum policy, recently prepared a report about the efficient award and use of Europe’s spectrum. They focused on 700MHz, 1452-1492MHz and 2.3-2.4GHz) excluding  Wi-Fi and satellites, but did consider mobile broadband, spectrum auctions, and also efficient use and best practice.

The RSPG put the report out for consultation on the 21st of October, and the European public has until 21 December to comment on the report.

Outcome of the Special General Meeting of the 15th of September

RFUANZ organised a special General Meeting on the 15th of September to discuss and vote on changes to the rules. We received wide support from our members, through proxy votes and physical presence, 78% of our members were represented at the meeting.

The proposed rules as circulated to the members was adopted at the meeting and has since been registered with the Registrar of Incorporated Societies.

A copy of the new rules can be downloaded from our new website: www.rfuanz.org.nz

New RFUANZ postal address

RFUANZ postal address has now changed effective 1 November 2015 the new address will be:

RFUANZ
# 7033
PO Box 83000
Johnsonsville
Wellington 6440
New Zealand

Officers of RFUANZ

After the Annual General Meeting, the RFUANZ committee appointed the following officers:

  • Daniel Irvine: Chair
  • David Thomson: Vice Chair
  • Jack Frost: Secretary
  • Monique Princen: Treasurer

It is important that all roles are filled when someone is unavailable for a longer period of time, therefore other members of the committee can be elected as acting officers to ensure continuity of service to members.

Due to recent floods in Dunedin, Daniel Irvine has been unavailable to undertake the role of Chairman.

It was agreed by all committee members that David Thomson step into the Chair until Daniel is able to return to the role. Daniel is acting as vice chair in the mean time.

We appreciate you continued support and patience during this period.