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06OTTAWA617 2006-03-07 16:24:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Ottawa
Cable title:  

SPECTRUM MANAGEMENT POLICIES: CANADA

Tags:   ECPS CA 
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					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 06 OTTAWA 000617 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECPS CA
SUBJECT: SPECTRUM MANAGEMENT POLICIES: CANADA

REF: SECSTATE 225777



1. The GOC's response to the questions posed in SECSTATE
225777 has been sent as an email attachment, with formatting
to make the GOC points clearer, to Mr. Frederick Matos,
Office of Spectrum Management, National Telecommunications
and Information Administration. We recommend that others
interested in the GOC response view the formatted document
(email madere@state.gov to request formatted version.)

Question 1: Responsible Authority: Which organizations
are involved in spectrum management in your country? To whom
are they responsible - executive branch, legislative branch,
military - or are they autonomous?

Organization involved in spectrum management:


--------------------------


In Canada, the federal government's Department of Industry
(Industry Canada (IC)) is responsible for all aspects of
spectrum management. The powers of the Minister of Industry
with regard to spectrum management are mainly set out in the
following Acts and applicable regulations: the Department of
Industry Act, the Radiocommunication Act and the
Radiocommunication Regulations, and the Telecommunications
Act and the Canadian Telecommunications Common Carrier and
Ownership and Control Regulations. The Minister of Industry
also acquires a lead role with regard to electronic
communications under the Emergency Communications Act. Within
Industry Canada, the following branches are involved in
delivering spectrum management activities:
--the Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulatory Branch
(DGRB), (headquarter organization) is responsible for
licensing, fee setting, regulatory policy, spectrum auctions,
spectrum management operations, regional relationships and
broadcast certification;
--the Spectrum Engineering Branch (DGSE) (headquarter
organization) is responsible for the establishment of the
technical and engineering basis for the provision and use of
the radio frequency spectrum and telecommunication equipment
in Canada;
--the Telecommunications Policy Branch (DGTP) (headquarter
organization) is responsible for developing policies dealing
with radio frequency spectrum usage and services in
accordance with the objectives of telecommunications as set
out in Section 7 of the Telecommunications Act.
--Regional and District Offices across the following five
regions covering the whole of Canada: Atlantic, Quebec,
Ontario, Prairies/Northern, and Pacific, are involved in
making a full range of spectrum-related services available to
a diverse client base.

Other organizations involved in spectrum management:


--------------------------


-- The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications
Commission (CRTC) is an independent federal agency
(regulatory body) governed by the Broadcasting Act and the
Telecommunications Act. The CRTC assigns broadcasting
licenses (e.g., for radio and television) under the
Broadcasting Act following a consultation with Industry
Canada which issues the concomitant broadcasting certificates
dealing with the technical aspects of the assignment (e.g.,
antenna specifications, output power limits) under the
Radiocommunication Act. Under the Telecommunications Act,
the CRTC also oversees the operation of telecommunications
carriers and promotes the telecommunications objectives that
are set out in Section 7 of the Act.
-- The Department of National Defense (DND) is the federal
government department having the overall responsibility for
the defense requirements of Canada. Industry Canada has an
agreement with DND whereby DND is authorized to centrally
manage the allocation and use of the 225-400 MHz frequency
Qmanage the allocation and use of the 225-400 MHz frequency
band. DND must obtain Industry Canada approval for the use
of all radiocommunications facilities and must pay license
fees. DND uses a large number of shared bands with the
private sector.
-- The Department of Transport (TC) is the federal
government department responsible for maintaining a safe and
secure Canadian transportation system. Among its many
activities, TC carries out certain frequency coordination
activities, e.g., instances involving aeronautical
obstruction clearances under the Air Regulations.
-- NAV CANADA (NAVCAN) is a not-for-profit private
corporation established to ensure a safe and reliable civil
air navigations service. Industry Canada and NAVCAN entered
into an agreement authorizing NAVCAN to carry out certain
frequency management requirements within certain radio bands
allocated for aeronautical purposes, e.g., frequency
coordination and engineering activities such as compatibility
studies.

Accountability of organizations involved in spectrum
management

OTTAWA 00000617 002 OF 006




--------------------------


Canada is an independent sovereign democracy governed by a
constitution which defines a federal system of government;
the powers and limits of powers that can be exercised by the
different levels of government (i.e., federal and
provincial); and the powers of the executive, legislative and
judicial branches of government. Canada is governed in
accordance to a parliamentary system. The following are the
main branches of Canada's Parliamentary System: the Executive
Branch consisting of the Prime Minister and Cabinet; the
Legislative Branch consisting of the Senate and House of
Commons; and the Judicial Branch consisting of the Supreme
Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Canada and the Superior
courts in the provinces.

Executive Branch: The Prime Minister and the Cabinet
form the Executive Branch of Parliament. The Executive
Branch carries out actions authorized by Parliament and
governs the country. Most Cabinet Ministers are responsible
for the administration of one or more government departments
and report to Parliament on their departments' activities.
The Governor in Council acts on advice of the Privy Council
and is the formal executive body which gives legal effect to
those decisions of Cabinet that are to have the force of law.


Within Canada's parliamentary system, the Minister of
Industry is a Cabinet Minister of the Executive Branch and
reports to Parliament on the activities of the Department.
The Minister of Industry is responsible for Industry
Portfolio initiatives which aim at fostering the creation and
growth of a thriving and innovative economy. As part of
these initiatives, IC is responsible for various Marketplace
Service Organizations including the Spectrum/Telecom Program.



2. Assignment Process: Please describe the mechanism(s)
your country uses to assign spectrum (for example, auctions,
lotteries, comparative hearings). To what services and/or
bands are such mechanisms applied?

The following describes the various assignment
mechanisms used in Canada and the service and/or bands to
which the mechanisms apply:

First-Come, First-Served (FCFS)


--------------------------


The FCFS assignment process accounts for more than 95% of the
radio licenses currently issued. The FCFS approach is used in
instances where there is sufficient spectrum to meet the
demand in a given frequency band and where there is no
additional measure required to advance particular
telecommunications policy objectives. The FCFS assignment
process is not automatic and in certain circumstances due to
substantial spectrum demand, IC may determine that a
competitive licensing process is the preferred assignment
mechanism.

The FCFS generally applies to:
--most point-to-point microwave systems and conventional land
mobile systems where a --modest amount of spectrum is
required;
--individual land mobile frequency assignments;
--some point-to-multipoint applications;
--all satellite earth stations.

Competitive Licensing Processes


--------------------------


Competitive licensing processes (both comparative review and
auctioning) have been used to license the following spectrum
resources:
--most frequency bands for Multipoint Communications Systems
(MCS) in urban areas;
--spectrum for public mobile telephone service;
--spectrum for broadband wireless access applications;
--fixed-satellite orbital positions.

Comparative Review


--------------------------


A comparative review process is used when the demand for
spectrum is expected to exceed the supply or where there is a
Qspectrum is expected to exceed the supply or where there is a
need to pursue certain telecommunications policy objectives.
Comparative review processes were previously used to license
Local Multipoint Communications Systems (LMCS) in the 28 GHz
range, Multipoint Communications Systems at 2500 MHz and to
authorize the development of the Canadian satellite orbital
position at 118.7 degrees orbital position.

Auction


--------------------------


An auction is used when the demand for spectrum is expected
to exceed the supply; when government policy objectives can
be fully met through the various means available (e.g.

OTTAWA 00000617 003 OF 006


measures such as regulations, conditions of license,
utilization policies, standards, and auction rules); and
where reliance on market forces to select licensees is deemed
to be in the public interest.

To date, the following 4 auctions have been held:
--Wireless Broadband Communications in the 24 and 38 GHz bands
--Additional Personal Communications Services (PCS) spectrum
in the 2 GHz frequency range
--2300 MHz (Wireless Communications Services - WCS) and 3500
MHz (Fixed Wireless Access - FWA)
--2nd Phase - 2300 MHz and 3500 MHz




3. Licensing Regime: Please describe your spectrum
licensing regime. Are licenses awarded for the provision of
a specific service, or a specified technology or standard?
Are licenses subject to renewal?

Industry Canada issues 2 types of licenses: radio
licenses and spectrum licenses.

Radio Licenses


--------------------------



Radio licenses are awarded to users, service providers
or carriers, based on the type of station used and type of
radio service to be provided. In certain cases, the amount
of radio frequency spectrum required, or the number of
frequencies assigned, and the location of operations are also
taken into account.

For the most part, radio licenses expire on March 31 of
each year and are renewable for a period of 12 months. Radio
licenses issued for less than 30 days expire on the day
indicated on the licenses and are not renewable.

Spectrum Licenses


--------------------------


Spectrum licenses are awarded based on the utilization of
specified radio frequencies within a defined geographic area.
With spectrum licenses, IC generally provides licensees with
the maximum possible flexibility in determining the services
they will offer and the technologies they will employ.

i) Spectrum licenses assigned by auction:

Spectrum licenses issued through auctioning are
generally valid for a 10 year period with expectancy of
renewal for a further 10 years. (Spectrum licenses would not
be renewed on the basis of a breach of license condition, a
fundamental re-allocation of spectrum to a new service, or an
overriding policy.)

ii) Spectrum licenses that are not assigned by auction,
but by other mechanisms:

With regard to spectrum licenses that are not assigned
through auctioning, the licensing term is determined on a
case-by-case basis. For example, some point-to-multipoint
frequencies providing local network distribution may be
licensed on a FCFS basis.





4. Licensee Privileges: What flexibility do licensees have
(e.g., secondary markets) to transfer their spectrum rights
to other parties? May licensees aggregate licenses or
subdivide them? May licensees make all or part of their
spectrum available to other entities based on geography or
time? May licensees accept payment in exchange for spectrum
access?

Transfer of spectrum licenses assigned on the basis of
an auction


--------------------------


The spectrum licensee may transfer its license(s) in whole or
in part (divisibility), in both the bandwidth and geographic
dimensions to a qualified recipient. Generally, the area
transferred may be no smaller than a single spectrum grid
cell. (Grid system: For purposes of measuring coverage area,
a geographic grid has been developed to standardize the units
of measurement for a system's coverage area. A spectrum grid
cell is an hexagonal figure with an area of 25 square
kilometers. The grid cells fit together in an interlocking
pattern over the geography of Canada.)

Generally, no minimum limit will be imposed on the
Q Generally, no minimum limit will be imposed on the
amount of spectrum that can be transferred in the bandwidth
dimension. However, limits may be required on the amount of
spectrum that can be transferred in the spectrum dimension in
order to respect international band channeling plans or other

OTTAWA 00000617 004 OF 006


policy needs.

The transferee will only receive a license term equal to
that remaining on the original license, but will be eligible
for the same license renewal provision granted to the
original licensee.

Under certain circumstances, Industry Canada allows for
the desegregation and divisibility of spectrum licenses.

Where desegregation of a spectrum license is being
considered, a portion of the specified radio frequency block
may only be transferred/returned and desegregated when the
discrete spectrum portions may be divided, such that the
resulting portions remain as assignable blocks of spectrum.
Desegregation must be concluded in a manner which allows for
the portion(s) of spectrum transferred/returned and remaining
to respect the spectrum assignment plans as defined in the
applicable policy or Standard Radio System Plan.

A notification of transfer is required by Industry
Canada for all proposed license transfers including a
declaration from all interested parties that the transfer is
in compliance with the eligibility criteria and other
conditions of license. Licensees accept payments for
transfers.

Transfer of spectrum licenses


--------------------------


The following conditions with regard to transferability
generally apply in cases where a spectrum license is assigned
through a licensing mechanism other than auctions. In most
cases, the spectrum licensee does not have the enhanced
transferability and divisibility rights. However, in view of
the fact that one of Industry Canada's objectives is to have
the spectrum fully utilized in the market place, an
application may be made to the Minister to transfer spectrum
licenses to a third party in circumstances where the
objective is not met. While the licensee (or trustee) cannot
sell the licenses outright, consideration will be given to a
request for transfer of the license where the license
accompanies other business assets and is being used as part
of a going concern.

Non-assignability of radio licenses


--------------------------


A radio license cannot be transferred or assigned without the
authorization of the Minister.



5. Spectrum Fees: What types of fees are imposed on
spectrum users? How are fees calculated? Which, if any,
spectrum users are exempt from fees?

Fees for spectrum licenses assigned through auctioning


--------------------------


Spectrum fees for licenses assigned through auctioning are
established by competitive bidding.

Fees for spectrum licenses assigned through other
mechanisms


--------------------------


Under the Department of Industry Act, the Minister may fix
spectrum license fees in respect of the rights and privileges
provided. Common to all spectrum licenses is authorization
by geographical area(s) and frequency(ies) or frequency
block(s), rather than authority for the installation and
operation of an individual radio apparatus. Prior to fixing
a fee, Industry Canada normally holds a public consultation
with all interested parties and the general public to enable
a review and discussion of the proposed fee. License fees
are based on spectrum management costs where resource rents
do not exist. When resource rents do exist, fees will ensure
a fair economic return to the public in addition to
recovering spectrum management costs.

In 2003, Industry Canada established spectrum fees for
cellular or PCS spectrum usage as follows:
--the fee rate of $0.03512361 per MHz per person over the
geographic area of their spectrum license.
--The minimum yearly fee for a spectrum license is set at
Q--The minimum yearly fee for a spectrum license is set at
$1,000. This fee is charged on an annual basis and is
payable in full by March 31 of each year.

Fees for radio licenses in respect of radio apparatus
installed in a station and that authorize the use of certain
frequencies: Under the Radiocommunication Regulations, fees
for radio licenses are set by the Governor in Council and are
determined by the type of station licensed and the type of
service used. In certain cases, the amount of radio
frequency spectrum required or number of frequencies assigned
and the location of operations are also taken into account.


OTTAWA 00000617 005 OF 006


The following are the various fees that may be
applicable to a radio license:
---an issuance fee (the initial issuance of a radio license)
the issuance fee and the monthly fee (see below) are
calculated from the month the license is issued to March 31
---a monthly fee - for the continuance in force of a radio
license until the radio license has expired
--a renewal fee - the annual fee for the renewal of a radio
license (before expiry on March 31 - and renewable for a
period of 12 months)
--a reinstatement fee - for the reinstatement of a radio
license after the license has expired on March 31 (where the
fee is paid during the period beginning on Apr. 1 and ending
Apr. 30 of the following year; and where the fee is paid
during the period beginning on May 1 and ending on Mar. 31 of
the following year)
--a short-term fee - for the issuance and continuance in
force of a radio license for a term of not more than 30 days
- not renewable

Spectrum users exempted from licensing fees


--------------------------


All radio apparatus must be licensed under the
Radiocommunication Act except if only capable of receiving
broadcasting or if exempted by the Governor in Council under
the Radiocommunication Regulations. For example:
--apparatus that is exempted from licensing and no licensing
fees apply, e.g.:
--radio apparatus that is set out in and meets a standard set
out in the License Exempt Radio Apparatus Standards List, as
amended from time to time
--radio apparatus on board an aircraft
--radio apparatus on board a ship or vessel
--radio apparatus operated in the amateur radio service at a
mobile or fixed station
--all radio apparatus that is licensed but exempt from
licensing fees must be prescribed by Governor in Council
regulation, e.g.: foreign governments that grant a
reciprocal radio license fee exemption.



6. Treatment of Government versus Commercial Users: Are
government or other non-commercial users subject to different
rules from commercial users with respect to questions 1-5
above? If yes, please describe.

The radio frequency spectrum is allocated and planned to
advance public policy objectives while ensuring a balance
between public and private radiocommunication use to benefit
Canadians. Industry Canada designates spectrum by type of
use rather than type of user. This means that various users,
including government, can access many bands. In our view,
this allows for a more efficient use of the spectrum than
portioning it for specific users or groups of users.
However, Industry Canada established priorities in the use of
frequencies for various radio services. Safety services
involve protection of life and property and take precedence
over the following. Generally, safety services benefit from
non-shared, exclusive use assignments. Preferred services
are those established for industrial or business
communications purposes, e.g., federal and provincial civil
defense systems, provincial and municipal hydro electric
power, highways and transportation systems, systems essential
to the distribution and
maintenance of electrical, oil and gas services, etc.

However, under the current regulations, radio license
fees are set for classes of radio stations independent from
the nature of the licensees. Therefore all users, regardless
of their line of business or the nature of the service they
provide, are charged the same fee.



7. Other Incentives: Please describe what other means (not
already identified) are used to encourage more efficient use
of spectrum through market-based incentives or other
Qof spectrum through market-based incentives or other
mechanisms.

In recent years Industry Canada has introduced new
approaches and policies for the effective management of
spectrum: Market-based mechanisms (mentioned above);
Spectrum licensing (mentioned above); Other mechanisms (apart
from market-based incentives) to encourage more efficient use
of spectrum:

Spectrum sharing: is employed among services in
particular allocations and geographical areas to increase the
usage of the spectrum. (Examples of spectrum sharing
arrangements:
--Sharing by two or more often dissimilar services, that can
coexist in the spectrum space in a manner that they derive
virtually unencumbered use providing that certain technical
sharing parameters are applied, e.g., power limitations,
antenna pointing ranges.

OTTAWA 00000617 006 OF 006


--Time sharing of the spectrum, e.g., a number of lower usage
mobile radio users sharing the same frequency channel;
traffic engineering by grouping a large number of users
together on multi-channel systems.
--Spread spectrum.

New technologies: often augment the efficiency and
flexibility of the use of spectrum. E.g.:
--They are often optimized to meet communication service
demands and, as such, they often offer the additional benefit
of increasing spectrum utilization.
--Software-defined and cognitive radio offer the prospect of
increasing flexible spectrum management practices.
--The adoption of narrowband technology through spectrum
refarming.

Certain approaches (efficient techniques):
--Under laying radio services using the noise temperature
concept to move regulation of interference from transmitters
to receivers;
--Re-introduction of radio receiver standards.

Conditions of licenses:
--In certain situations, require research and development
(R&D) commitments, i.e., R&D role in bringing new technology
to marketplace.
--Requirement to implement within a certain timeframe to
ensure radio frequencies are utilized efficiently.



8. Government Spectrum: If not already addressed above,
do the provisions identified above (market-based assignment
mechanisms, secondary markets, fees) apply to the management
of spectrum used by government agencies or other non-profit
entities? Please describe and identify any lessons learned.

As mentioned in Question 6, under the current
regulations, radio license fees are set for classes of radio
stations independent from the nature of the licensees.
Therefore all users, regardless of their line of business or
the nature of the service they provide, are charged the same
fee. However, Priority Users do not have to participate in
market-based approaches (e.g., auctions) to ensure that they
have the frequencies in the bands designated for priority
services. Such users include those whose radiocommunications
services are vital to national sovereignty and defense, law
enforcement, public safety, and emergency services.
Furthermore, Industry Canada will continue to facilitate
access to spectrum for certain societal needs which would not
be achieved by economic factors alone. Industry Canada
endeavors to ensure that spectrum is available for rural and
remote areas, e.g., broadband services.



9. In-Country Contacts and Studies: Please provide several
in-country contacts that are willing to discuss these issues
in more detail with us. For each of these contacts, supply
his or her name, title, organization, postal address, email
address, telephone, and fax numbers. Also, please provide
all publicly available spectrum studies of market-based
economic mechanisms (such as incentives).

Peter Hill, Director, Spectrum Management Operations
(613) 980-7176

Fern Lger, Director, Spectrum and Radio Policy (613)
998-4470

Bill Graham, Director, International Telecommunications
Policy and Coordination, (613) 998-4478

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