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Archived - Enhancing Wi-Fi Services in Rural Communities

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Industry Minister announces new measures to bring "super Wi-Fi" Internet services to Canada

February 5, 2015 – Ottawa – Industry Canada

Spectrum is the oxygen that fuels our smartphones, tablets and wearable devices. It is a valuable but finite public resource that must be allocated in a way that benefits Canadian consumers foremost. Recently, the Government of Canada has been exploring new ways to access additional spectrum by using portions of television airwaves that are not being used in particular areas of Canada. This unused television spectrum is known as TV white space (TVWS).

Today, Industry Minister James Moore announced new measures that will make TVWS technology available in Canada, benefitting consumers in rural communities.

TVWS technology uses available television airwaves to deliver improved, Wi-Fi–like services in rural regions. Given the excellent coverage of TV frequencies, TVWS devices will initially provide broadband Internet, similar to Wi-Fi, but with expanded coverage that exceeds traditional Wi-Fi.

This move will allow these devices to be used in Canada without interfering with existing TV broadcasts. Today's publication of technical standards and operational requirements, developed with stakeholders, is the last step in enabling the use of TVWS in Canada.

Quick facts

  • Television white space (TVWS) devices and services have been referred to as “super Wi-Fi” by the tech industry.
  • These actions are setting the stage for new options for broadband to help connect Canadians and offer new economic opportunities, two priorities of the Digital Canada 150 strategy.
  • TVWS devices are designed to avoid interference with broadcast operations.
  • Industry Canada issued a policy permitting the use of TVWS devices in 2012.
  • The United States has taken a similar approach to TVWS.


"Spectrum is a valuable public resource, and it is our responsibility as government to allocate it in such a way that benefits Canadian consumers first and foremost. Our government has made it a priority to connect thousands of Canadians in rural and remote areas to high-speed Internet services. Today's TV white spaces announcement builds on that commitment by creating the right conditions for new technology and services to be developed and delivered to Canadians at the most affordable prices."

– James Moore, Minister of Industry

"I applaud the government's decision to move forward in making TV white space devices a reality in Canada. These standards and requirements are the important final step in bringing cutting-edge alternatives for broadband access to thousands of Canadian households, as well as ensuring Canada remains a leader in wireless innovation."

– Robert Wu, Ph.D, Founder and CEO, 6Harmonics Inc.

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Jake Enwright
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Industry

Media Relations
Industry Canada

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