Adelaide-based wireless communications provider MIMP has called on the South Australian government to overturn a $4500 licence levy on microwave dishes that the company said will hold back high-speed communications in regional and remote areas of the State.
MIMP Connecting Solutions CEO, Allan Aitchison, said the levy on microwave dishes will discourage the use of wireless communication to serve rural communities. “It’s going to threaten MIMP providing high-speed wireless links for customers ranging from mining companies to remote communities,” Aitchison said.
The SA Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) wants to levy companies as much as $4500 for each microwave dish it installs on a tower, in addition to the rent it pays to tower operators. According to MIMP, tower operators already pay the government for a tower located on public land.
“Adding thousands of dollars a year to these low-cost communication links is likely to have the effect of making some of them financially unviable. This will prevent companies like MIMP deploying infrastructure that delivers high speed broadband businesses and communities that can’t currently get it,” he said.
Additionally, Aitchison said the levy conflicts with the Federal Government legislation relating to ACMA which requires the provision of reasonable costs and right of access for wireless communication providers.