Archived — Notice No. DGTP-014-98

Industry Canada

Radiocommunication Act

Notice No. DGTP-014-98

Proposed Amendment to The Policy Framework for the Provision of Mobile Satellite Services

Introduction

The purpose of this Notice is to solicit public comments on proposed revisions to the eligibility of service providers to offer services under the existing Mobile Satellite Policy Framework.

Background

In February 1998, Industry Canada amended the Policy Framework through Canada Gazette Notice DGTP-001-98 to implement Canada's commitment in the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement on basic telecommunications services. This amendment removed the requirement that a Canadian provider of mobile satellite services hold equity participation in the satellite system.

Proposal

In the WTO agreement on basic telecommunications services, Canada has specified a schedule for liberalizing its national and international satellite services market whereby foreign satellite systems may be used to provide services to Canadians. Accordingly, under provisions of Bill C-17, An Act to Amend the Telecommunications Act and the Teleglobe Canada Reorganization and Divestiture Act, amendments have been made to the Telecommunications Act which exempt satellite earth stations from the Canadian ownership and control provisions of section  16 of the Act. These legislative changes require consequential changes to the Radiocommunication Regulations and satellite service licensing policies.

In the proposed amendments to the Radiocommunication Regulations, published in the Canada Gazette, Part 1 on October 10, 1998, it is proposed that any service provider using domestic or foreign mobile satellite capacity but owning or operating its mobile earth stations (customer terminals) and gateways or feeder link earth stations may be authorized if the entity is eligible to hold a radio station licence as defined below:

"10.1 (3) Notwithstanding sections 9 and 10, the following persons, who operate an earth station in the mobile satellite service, are eligible to be issued, in respect of that earth station, a radio licence as a radiocommunication user, as a radiocommunication service provider other than a radiocommunication carrier, or a radiocommunication carrier: 

  1. an individual who is
    1. a citizen within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Citizenship Act
    2. a permanent resident within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Immigration Act, or
    3. a non-resident who has been issued an employment authorization under the Immigration Act;
  2. a corporation that is incorporated or continued under the laws of Canada or a province;
  3. a partnership or joint venture where each partner or co-venturer is eligible to be issued a radio licence under this subsection; and
  4. a Canadian government, whether federal, provincial or local, or an agency thereof."

Industry Canada is of the view that the liberalization of the licensing regime for earth stations of the mobile satellite service should not lag that for fixed satellite service. Further, there may be no compelling reason to require that mobile satellite service providers who provide the earth stations communicating with a foreign or domestic mobile satellite space station be Canadian owned and controlled.

Therefore Industry Canada proposes to amend the first criterion of Section 2 of the present Mobile Satellite Policy Framework as follows:

® "the applicant (service provider) must be eligible to be issued a radio licence or a spectrum licence under the Radiocommunication Act;"

Invitation to Comment

Industry Canada invites interested parties to provide their views and comments as described below.

Submissions should be addressed to the Director General, Telecommunications Policy Branch, Industry Canada, 300 Slater Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0C8 and must be received within 30 days after publication of this Notice to receive full consideration. All representations should cite the Canada Gazette Part 1 Notice publication date, title, and the Notice reference number.

All submissions received in response to this Notice will be made available for viewing by the public two weeks after the closing date of this Notice, during normal business hours, at the Industry Canada Library, 235 Queen Street, West Tower, 3rd Floor, Ottawa and at the offices of Industry Canada in Moncton, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver, for a period of one year from the close of the comment period.

Respondents are strongly encouraged to provide their comments in electronic format (WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, Adobe PDF or ASCII TXT) to facilitate posting on the Department's web site. Documents submitted via electronic media should be sent with a note specifying the software, version number and operating system used. All submissions should cite Canada Gazette Notice reference number DGTP-014-98. This Canada Gazette Notice is available electronically via the Internet at the following address: World Wide Web (WWW), http://www.ic.gc.ca/spectrum.

Michael Helm
Director General
Telecommunications Policy

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