Australia - "Regional broadband spectrum up for grabs at auction" - mesh network?



I’m not sure what category this should go under - maybe we need a “Network” category?

Anyway, I am wondering whether this new item has any relevance / interest for a SAFE mesh network (if I had a lot of money to spend)?:



Its most likely to be bought by a big player in the AU telecommunications market.


Yeah seeing as its a monopoly pretty much.


I’d like to see MESH networks using low power FM bands - not illegal to use low power FM bands in most places and these bands easily go quite a long distance as they aren’t absorbed easily (unlike microwave ranges that are currently used in wifi).

Basically just need to build a wifi router that uses FM bands and get people in an area to buy them.


It is in Australia. Just look it up. Any transmission in AU has to have specific permission. The ISM band is allowed for specific purposes like WiFi as long as it obeys the rules. Ham radio people have to follow the rules and are allowed some bands. CB radio people are allowed a couple of specific bands and should be following the rules (power/language). And every other band is licensed to someone (or reserved) and its illegal for others to use them. You can even be charged for a piece of equipment (eg PC), unknown to you, giving stray radiation.

So no in Australia and some/many countries the frequency spectrum is heavily regulated and more so as time goes on.

NOW if you are not detected then your use of those other frequency bands is possible. But it only takes one report to the ACMA and you can be done for if your are transmitting at the time they come to investigate. Usually if its faulty equipment that is causing the problem then rather than being charged you are giving a notice and/or fine and before you can use that equipment again you have to get it fixed and certified as being within the radiation/emmission regulations.


Maybe use an UWB (ultra-wide-band) technique to lower power even further, making signal mostly undetectable from noise (unless you have the ability to decrypt and can know it’s not noise) – the two keys here, IMO are 1.) using a frequency that CAN go a distance without being easily absorbed by the environment. and 2.) being so hard to detect that governments won’t bother.


Good luck with that.

If you increase noise in any band of frequencies then eventually you will be found out as it will interfere with someone and be investigated. Even a PC emitting RF noise can be targeted because someones portable equipment had interference. For example a council worker is near one of your mesh transmitters and finds too much noise, so they report it to their tech department who then reports it to AMCA because other council workers reported it. Just one example of how these things are found out. Sometimes its TV interference or FM radio interference reported by the public.

The point is that if you are running something 24/7 then you are likely to be found out and once one is found they will search further. Encrypted “noise” does not stop them since they don’t want to see the data, just find the sources of the noise.

I think you need to find the bands available for such purposes (eg ISM band) or use direct light radiation (infra red or visible or uv). Microwave bands are also regulated. As an engineer I can usually get out of trouble for minor infringements with some excuse.


The idea here of using UWB would be to duplicate the data multiple times over a range of frequencies such that error correction becomes easier to compensate for noise and hence have lower power levels.

Also, once linked up, power can be adjusted to optimal for the weakest link to reduce detection further.

I like the idea of LiFi … but not sure about range when not directed.

As for myself I live in the countryside, not the city, so range is more important … also though, I don’t tink, given where I live and the attitudes of people here, that anyone would notice my use of a low power FM transmitter – I have a few in my big box of tech junk, one of them I still use – it’s a wireless headphone system that I bought off of ebay. So pretty sure that these kind of systems are allowed at power levels below a certain threshold.

Just doing some research … found this guy in australia testing the range of a legal small FM transmitter:

looks pretty good for range. Add UWB on top of that and your error correction would take you out a bit farther.

From the video:

This video is a range test of a class licensed LIPD FM transmitter operating in the 36.6 - 37 MHz band. The transmitter has just three transistors: FM modulator, 18.4 MHz crystal oscillator and frequency doubler. Output power was 10 - 20 milliwatts to a vertical dipole antenna.

The results were successful. A range of about 500 metres was achieved with low power. An increase to the 100mW legal limit would likely increase this distance to about 1 - 2km.


You can try it. My thought is though if you create a mesh network with it then that is where I think it could become detected. Its the shear number of these that will be the real problem.

Anyhow maybe it’ll work. Maybe the ACMA will recommend a band for these to operate in because of the demand for it.

Also there are quite a number of available frequencies which allow low emission transmissions and they usually have other restrictions. But they would be available for your system. For instance see below for the headphones exemption.

It is most likely in one of the bands allowed for it. (one of the ISM bands typically)

These are ISM bands for Australia

ISM bands 13.553 MHz – 13.567 MHz, 26.957 MHz – 27.283 MHz, 40.66 MHz – 40.70 MHz, 918 MHz – 926 MHz, 2 400 MHz – 2 500 MHz, 5 725 MHz – 5 875 MHz and 24 000 MHz – 24 250 MHz.
And more are available

And the power level has its restrictions

For headphones

21 Wireless audio transmitters and auditory assistance transmitters
10 µW

  1. Emission must be frequency modulated and have a maximum bandwidth of 180 kHz.
  2. Transmission in a radio channel must not originate in the licence area of a radio broadcasting station (including a repeater or translator station) operating in the same channel.


Thanks for the ideas. I am working on a project for marketing ‘big tech’ projects. This may make the list!


Where are you? Anywhere near Central West NSW? Maybe we could do something if you are . .




I was just about to post that!


Suspect that in the end even just unhampered email would be enough to prevail. But really much more than this any hierarchical organization can be beat
with the simplest of ingredients including:

  1. Small groups of mayne 14 people working friendship and trust based relationships based on being valued and having understand and autonomy held together by norms and the value of friendship and non cooptation

  2. Everything you utterly don’t need: leaders, roles, technology, money, education, structure, schedules, budgets, titles, group names, rosters, membership, static composition of people, rules.

These two can utterly destroy any state or corporation or any military force. People just have to realize how much power such small groups have.