Telco’s participating in the digital dividend auction have been given until the second half of next year to make final payments for spectrum licenses won.
Previously bidders were required to pay the balance shortly after the auction concluded in mid-2013. The due date for payment is now closer to the commencement of the spectrum licenses.
The decision to extend the final payment was made after telco’s expressed concerns about paying for both the reissue of expiring spectrum licenses and spectrum licenses won at the auction within a short period of time.
Communications minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, stated the amended payment terms do not impact on the commencement date of spectrum licences issued as a result of the auction.
“It remains the government’s expectation that the spectrum in the digital dividend band will be cleared by 31 December 2014,” he stated.
Auction applications will also have more time to consider their bidding strategies with eligibility deadline and auction commencement dates shifted by one week to March 28 and April 23, respectively.