Press Releases: Feb '96 — Call for Applications

Brand New Communications Technology Promises Increased Competition and More Choices for Consumers

Ottawa, – – Imagine getting cable TV without cables; or 'beaming' people in by video conference from their home or workplace; or high-speed Internet access without a phone line -- with Local Multipoint Communications Systems (LMCS), a new wireless communications technology, a whole world of interesting possibilities opens up.

Calling it a breakthrough for consumers and another milestone on Canada's information highway, Industry Minister John Manley today introduced a policy on LMCS and issued a call for licence applications.

Canadian consumers now get a range of broadcast and telecommunications services from their local telephone and cable television distribution networks. Recent breakthroughs in technology mean that each will soon be able to compete with the other in offering a full range of services. LMCS will offer a competitive third choice.

"We are responding swiftly to this new technology so that Canadians benefit from innovative services, market competition and increased choices," said Mr. Manley. "LMCS also give us a chance to consolidate our world leadership position in telecommunications,exporting our knowledge and services to create jobs and growth at home."

Mr. Manley noted that LMCS will create new private sector investments and new jobs,employing 12,000 to 15,000 Canadians within ten years.

The LMCS policy and call for licences is part of the government's strategy for the information Highway. It is guided by three objectives: the creation of jobs through innovation and investment; the reinforcement of Canadian sovereignty and cultural identity;and universal access at a reasonable cost.

The competitive process for the first round of licences will be open to companies that do not already provide local telephone or cable TV services in Canada. Applicants will be evaluated in part on the extent to which they have inve sted and demonstrated innovation in carrying out R&D and field trials. Successful applicants are expected to be an nounced by Mr. Manley during the summer of 1996. Later rounds will be open to all applicants.

The new policy designates six frequency blocks for LMCS, two of which will be opened immediately. The competitive process for awarding the other four blocks will, for the first time, be by auction. It will take place 18 to 36 months from the date of licensing the first two.

Formal notification of this policy and of the call for licence applications will be published in the Canada Gazette on . Copies of the policy are available through the Internet: http://www.ic.gc.ca/spectrum

Copies may also be obtained from:

Industry Canada Communications,
613-947-7466

For more information or a copy of the backgrounder, please contact:

Bill Milliken,
Office of the Minister of Industry,
613-995-9001

Parke Davis,
Spectrum Management,
613-990-7527

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