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Archived - Statement by Minister of Industry James Moore on Canada's Spectrum Licensing Framework

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Ottawa, November 14, 2013—The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry, made the following statement:

"Today, our government took the next step in delivering on our commitment in the Speech from the Throne to defend Canadian consumers by ensuring Canadians living in rural areas benefit from greater access to high-speed Internet services.

"Beginning in March 2014, 2300 MHz and 3500 MHz spectrum licences will be subject to renewal. These spectrum licences contained conditions requiring that the spectrum be used for fixed wireless access, which represents the most affordable high-speed Internet access for many rural Canadians. Our government will only renew spectrum licences for those holders that have met all conditions of licence. Those that have not used the spectrum will lose it. As we indicated in the Speech from the Throne, our government will continue to defend the interests of Canadian consumers by providing more choice, lower prices and better service in Canada's wireless sector.

"Today's decision means Canadians will benefit from additional quality spectrum being deployed across the country, which will lead to dependable high-speed Internet services on the latest technologies at the best prices. Our government will continue to enhance rural access to high-speed broadband networks and will continue to put consumer interests at the core of our decisions."

For more information on the Government of Canada's plans to ensure the wireless sector offers more choice, lower prices and better service for Canadians, visit www.Canada.ca/MoreChoices.

For more information on the 2300 MHz and 3500 MHz spectrum licensing process, see the attached backgrounder or visit the Spectrum Auctions home page on the Industry Canada site.

Follow us on Twitter: @industrycanada

For further information (media only), please contact:

Jake Enwright
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable James Moore
Minister of Industry
613-995-9001

Media Relations
Industry Canada
613-943-2502
1-800-328-6189
media-relations@ic.gc.ca


Backgrounder

Starting in March 2014, 2300 MHz and 3500 MHz spectrum licences that were auctioned between 2004 and 2009 will begin to expire. When these licences were issued, they included conditions requiring use of the spectrum within the initial 10-year period to provide more services to Canadian consumers.

Only existing licence holders that have met all conditions of licence, including deployment of services, will be eligible to obtain new spectrum licences for the renewed term. Those that have not deployed any services will not be eligible for renewal. These licences will be returned to the Government of Canada. In the months ahead, Industry Canada will consult on a new process for awarding returned licences.

About 2300 MHz spectrum

As licences in the 2300 MHz band expire, current licence holders that have met all conditions, including deployment requirements, will be eligible for a new licence for a 10-year term. Licences for which conditions of licence have not been met will be returned to the Government of Canada. The process for awarding returned licences to new applicants will be announced in the months ahead following consultation.

About 3500 MHz spectrum

Deployment to date has been limited in the 3500 MHz band, despite the availability of equipment. Those service providers that have deployed are generally providing fixed wireless broadband to the home in rural areas.

As licences in the 3500 MHz band expire, current licence holders that have met all conditions, including deployment requirements, will be eligible for a new licence for a one-year term. Service providers that have not met the conditions of licence, including deployment of services to Canadians, especially in rural areas, will have their licences returned to the Government of Canada. The process for awarding returned licences to new applicants will be announced in the months ahead following consultation.

For more information on the Government of Canada's plans to ensure the wireless sector offers more choice, lower prices and better service for Canadians, visit www.Canada.ca/MoreChoices.


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