Industry Minister Manley Announces Plans for New Broadband Services

Ottawa, – John Manley, Minister of Industry today announced that he would be making available new wireless broadband spectrum, to accommodate the increased demand for high speed local access infrastructure which is required for Internet and electronic commerce applications.

"The telecommunications industry is moving at a rapid pace. Providing easy access to leading edge wireless broadband telecommunications is a crucial step in our connectedness agenda," said Minister Manley. "Given the worldwide developments in wireless broadband, we are responsive to the needs of Canadian businesses and entrepreneurs to make spectrum available for new services."

The new frequency bands that will be available are at 24 GHz and 38 GHz. In each licencing market a total of 1100 MHz will be made available on a block by block basis. Licensing is expected to be completed by September 1999. Due to the complex nature of this process, an auction is being considered to determine the successful applicants. Details of both the policy and licensing process will be elaborated in a consultation paper to be gazetted for comments by mid-July 1998.

Minister Manley also announced that there will be a postponement in the licensing of further spectrum in the 28 GHz band for Local Multipoint Communication Systems (LMCS) for at least 18 months due to licensing delays in the U.S. market. This complements the decision to make new similar spectrum available in the other bands and will ensure the orderly development of leading edge wireless broadband infrastructure in Canada. The Minister also announced a one year extension on the service roll-out requirements of the existing LMCS licensees, and indicated that applications to merge existing licensees, or to transfer ownership to eligible purchasers will be considered as part of building innovative and globally competitive wireless services.

For further information, please contact: 

Jennifer Sloan
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Industry

Patrick Carrey
Spectrum Management

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