The Australian Communications and Media Authority, the Department of Defence and the Defence Materiel Organisation have finalised an agreement that authorises the ACMA to use four High Frequency (HF) receiver sites in mainland Australia that are part of the Defence High Frequency Communications System (DHFCS).
Access to DHFCS receiver sites will allow the ACMA to establish a new High Frequency Direction Finding (HFDF) and monitoring system, while closing the three HF receiver sites that it currently operates in mainland Australia.
Funding for a new HFDF and monitoring system was provided to the ACMA in the 2013-14 budget.
The infrastructure-sharing arrangement is being implemented through ACMA participation in Project Nullarbor, an upgrade to DHFCS that will be completed by Boeing Defence Australia in late 2016.
The cross-portfolio agreement will deliver cost savings to the Commonwealth of up to $2 million as well as ongoing benefits to Defence and the ACMA over the life of DHFCS.
Access to the Defence HF receiver sites will allow the ACMA to triangulate and identify sources of interference in the HF band.
Once it has identified the source of interference, the ACMA works with regulators in other countries to reduce or eliminate interference to Australian users of the HF band, including international broadcasters, Australians in remote areas, ships at sea and aircraft in flight