Archived — Notice No. DGTP-003-95

Industry Canada

Radiocommunication Act

Notice No. DGTP-003-95

Radio Licensing Policy for Limited Area Radio Systems

1. Introduction

This policy is being reissued in order to reflect the increasingly competitive telecommunications environment. The previous policy (Canada Gazette Notice No. DGTP 006-91) liberalized the licensing of radio systems within a limited area but, due to the existing policies and principles governing intercity systems, access to locations outside of the limited area was limited to the facilities of a specific set of facilities-based telecommunications carriers. Due to the issuance of the intercity policy (DGTP-002-94, published 26 March, 1994) this limitation is now removed and access to points outside of a limited area has been liberalized. Also the definition of a limited area has been amended. The new definition gives the Department more flexibility in considering applications for radio stations outside of a free calling area that share a community of interest and can be justified on public interest requirements.

While the "Limited Area" policy is directed towards the licensing of microwave radio systems, it also applies to radio systems operating in non-microwave frequencies (those below 960 MHz). The policy is applicable to radio facilities configured to be either point-to-point or multipoint communications systems (MCS), or a combination thereof.

The objectives of this policy are to provide the public with a greater choice of services and increased flexibility when applying to establish radio facilities within a local geographic community of interest. It is anticipated that this policy will further the cost-effective delivery of telecommunications services to Canadians. It will contribute to the development of an advanced and interconnected telecommunications network infrastructure which is an essential element in the development of Canada's Information Highway.

2. Radio Licensing Policy for Limited Area Radio Systems

Under this new policy anyone, in accordance with the General Radio Regulations, is eligible to be authorized to use a radio system within a limited area for the carriage of the applicant's own private traffic or to offer radiocommunications services to a third party(s), or a combination thereof. Radio systems may access points outside of a limited area, or interconnect to other limited areas via radio or non-radio facilities in accordance with the definitions and requirements contained in the appropriate departmental principles and policies (e.g., Policy for Licensing Intercity Radio Facilities) in effect at the time of the application.

The existing policy regarding Canadian ownership, of course, continues to apply. In this context, licensees of systems not carrying third party traffic must acquire Departmental approval before carrying any third party traffic. Also, applicants are advised that regulatory requirements may apply for certain types of applications. Applicants will be required to comply with telecommunications regulatory requirements (e.g. CRTC, provincial/territorial, or municipal) if any, and such requirements should be submitted as part of the licence application.

3. Evaluation of Limited Area Radio Licence Applications

Radio systems meeting the policy principles enunciated in this document shall be evaluated according to the requirements of the appropriate Spectrum Policies, Standard Radio System Plans, Radio Standards Procedures, regulations, and other technical standards and licensing procedures.

As a general rule, applications will be treated on a "first come, first served" basis. However, where it is evident that this procedure could result in rapid exhaustion of the available spectrum in a particular band, certain measures may be taken to ensure that the limited spectrum accommodates a diversity of service applications. For example, preference will be given to spectrum efficient systems that would offer new and innovative services. In particular, proposed MCS systems may require detailed policy analysis due to the increased coordination area of such systems.

Certain cases, such as requests for limited spectrum in a particular band, may necessitate issuing a call for competing applications. In such cases, the applications would be assessed in a comparative licensing process against pre-established evaluation criteria.

Furthermore, considering the high level of congestion in bands below 3 GHz in many parts of Canada and recognizing that the radio path length of limited area radio systems will generally be relatively short, applicants will be encouraged to develop limited area radio systems in frequency bands above 10 GHz.

4. Implementation

This policy is in effect on the date of publication of this Notice.

For further information contact Ches Netten at 613-998-4439 or at Internet address Netten.Ches@ic.gc.ca

Dated at Ottawa this 24th day of March 1995.

Michael Helm
Director General
Telecommunications Policy Branch

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