Archived — Notice No. DGTP-002-94

Industry Canada

Radiocommunication Act

Notice No. DGTP-002-94

Policy for Licensing Intercity Radio Facilities

1. Introduction

The 1987 Policy Framework for Telecommunications in Canada limited eligibility for authorization of intercity radio facilities used to provide public correspondence services1 to the facilities-based telecommunications carriers in existence at that time. These entities were the various telephone companies, Unitel Communications Inc., Telesat Canada and Teleglobe Canada and were identified in the "Radio Licensing Policy for Limited Area Fixed Radio Systems" issued in August, 1991.

This policy is the result of an examination of the numerous public submissions received on Canada Gazette Notice (DGTP-001-92) entitled "Discussion Paper to Consider Relaxing the Intercity Radio Licensing Policy", comments on the submissions to DGTP-001-92, and Canada Gazette Notice (DGTP-007-93) "Proposed Policy for Licensing Intercity Radio Facilities".

The objective of this licensing policy is to encourage the effective and efficient utilization of existing intercity telecommunications facilities and to foster the establishment of new radio facilities to further the cost-effective delivery of competitive telecommunications services to the maximum number of Canadian users. This policy will contribute to the accelerated development of an advanced and interconnected telecommunications network infrastructure which is an essential element in Canada's proposed information highway system.

This policy applies to the licensing of intercity radio facilities2 that would be used to provide public correspondence services, as described in Section 2. In addition, this intercity radio licensing policy describes changes relating to the authorization of microwave systems for the carriage of secondary (non-public correspondence) traffic on new or existing private microwave systems as described in Section 4.

This policy pertains to fixed radio stations using microwave or non-microwave frequencies (the latter currently being defined as those below 960 MHz). The existing policy requiring Canadian ownership, of course, continues to apply.

2. Radio Licensing Policy for the Carriage of Public Correspondence on Intercity Radio Facilities

Under this new policy anyone, is eligible to be authorized to use new or existing intercity radio facilities on the basis that they are used to provide public correspondence services. 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.

This policy also addresses the licensing of intercity radio facilities offering public correspondence services that would be subject to provincial/territorial or municipal jurisdiction but where no appropriate regulatory body exists from which approval could be obtained. In such cases, in order to ensure that the system is used to provide public correspondence services, it would be a condition of licence that the radio system shall be employed to provide public correspondence services as defined in this policy. Where an appropriate regulatory body is subsequently established, the licensee would be expected to comply with the applicable regulatory requirements.

The licensee is expected to provide reasonable capacity on its facilities in order to offer public correspondence services to additional parties on a non-discriminatory basis and, in this regard, to provide forecasts to justify requested spectrum.

Applications meeting the above policy principles will be evaluated in relation to the technical criteria described in Section 3, below.

3. Evaluation of Intercity 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, especially where there is a lack of modern telecommunications services available.

Also, in spectrum congested areas, approval of all applications may not be possible and a comparison to a non-spectrum solution(s) may be requested and could be an element in the decision-making process.

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

4. Radio Licensing Policy for the Carriage of Secondary Traffic on Private Intercity Radio Facilities

Numerous recommendations received on the "Discussion Paper" proposed that the carriage of secondary traffic3 on private intercity radio facilities be authorized. Prime examples are the carriage of administrative circuits or third party traffic on electric power utility private microwave systems presently established to carry telecontrol and operational circuits, or on broadcaster owned private microwave systems carrying CRTC approved programming material.

It has been demonstrated that administrative difficulties could be encountered when limits are set regarding the amount of secondary traffic that should be allowed to be carried on a given system. Consequently, no such limits are proposed at this time. However, the intent of the policy is that the secondary traffic be carried on a radio system that has been justified based on primary traffic4; for example, equipment availability for the carriage of the primary traffic may dictate that excess capacity exists on a private radio system and this surplus transmission capability could be used for the carriage of secondary traffic. However, as a general rule, applicants would be expected to take into consideration future primary traffic requirements before using excess capacity for secondary traffic.

Also, it should be noted that Section 4 does not negate nor detract from the 1983 "Microwave Licensing Policy Respecting Carriage of Program Signals to Broadcasting Undertakings" whereby broadcasters are required to provide reasonable access and shared-use of their private microwave facilities and program signal services on a non-profit basis to other broadcasters. Broadcasters could, of course, use the provisions of this section of the policy to provide other types of third party carriage.

This policy gives licensees of private systems the capability to augment the use of their microwave infrastructures by carrying secondary traffic. This policy is consistent with the Government's objective of maximizing the use of existing telecommunications facilities.

Considering the above, the carriage of secondary traffic, which could be the licensee's own private traffic or that of a limited number of third parties, will henceforth be allowed on new or existing private microwave systems carrying primary traffic. Generally, no expansion of the existing microwave system to carry secondary traffic would be permitted. Of course, if an applicant wishes to apply to carry third party traffic in excess of that envisaged under this section (e.g. expansion of private systems to carry third party traffic), it may apply to carry public correspondence under Section 2 of this policy.

Applications meeting the above policy principles will be evaluated in relation to the technical criteria listed in Section 3.

Note, applicants are advised that telecommunications regulatory requirements (e.g. CRTC, provincial/territorial or municipal) could apply for certain types of applications.

Dated at Ottawa, this 17th day of March, 1994.

Michael Helm
Director General,
Telecommunications Policy Branch


1 Public correspondence services are defined as telecommunications services offered to any third party for compensation on a non-discriminatory basis and includes the provision, in whole or in part, of the radio facilities, whether by sale, lease or otherwise.

2 An intercity radio facility is defined as one which extends beyond the boundaries of a limited area, as defined in the document "Radio Licensing Policy for Limited Area Fixed Radio Systems". It may be either fixed point-to-point or fixed multipoint, or a hybrid of radio and non-radio facilities.

3 Secondary traffic is defined as private or third party traffic which, according to the appropriate private radio licensing policies and principles under which it is licensed, could not be carried on the private microwave system in question.

4 Primary traffic is defined as that traffic for which a private microwave system has been justified, according to the appropriate radio licensing policies and principles.

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