CPC-2-6-01 — Procedure for the Submission of Applications to License Fixed Earth Stations and to Approve the Use of Foreign Fixed-Satellite Service (FSS) Satellites in Canada

(Provisional) Issue 3
July 2008

Spectrum Management and Telecommunications
Client Procedures Circular

Preface

Client Procedures Circulars describe the various procedures or processes to be followed by the public when dealing with Industry Canada. The information contained in these circulars is subject to change without notice. It is therefore suggested that interested persons consult the nearest district office of Industry Canada for additional details. While every reasonable effort has been made to ensure accuracy, no warranty is expressed or implied. As well, these circulars have no status in law.

Comments and suggestions may be directed to the following address:

Industry Canada
Radiocommunications and
Broadcasting Regulatory Branch
300 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0C8

Attention: DOS

E-mail: spectrum_pubs@ic.gc.ca

All Spectrum Management and Telecommunications publications are available on the following website: http://www.ic.gc.ca/spectrum.

Industry Canada released a provisional version of this licence application procedure, Client Procedures Circular, Procedure for the Submission of Applications to License Fixed Earth Stations and to Approve the Use of Foreign Fixed-satellite Service (FSS) Satellites in Canada (CPC-2-6-01, Issue 1, Provisional), for consultation in November 1999. Comments received in response to the publication of this circular were supportive of the procedures introduced in the circular. The second issue of the circular was modified, however, to reflect the expiration of the Telesat monopoly, to add essential data elements that must be provided with an application, and to improve the clarity of some sections of the original circular.

This version, Issue 3, retains its provisional status pending departmental consideration of integrating the circular with a revision of the technical standards currently set out in Radio Standards Procedure, Licence Application Procedure for Planned Earth Stations in Space Radiocommunication Services (RSP-114), and Radio Standards Procedure, Licence Application Procedure for Planned Television and/or Radio Receive Only (TVRO) Earth Stations in the Fixed-satellite Service (RSP-116). Issue 3 has also been modified to update references to other Industry Canada documents, to remove the section of Issue 2 dealing with special treatment of Intelsat satellites, and to replace its Annex II, List of Approved FSS Satellites, with a link to the updated list maintained on Industry Canada's Spectrum Management and Telecommunications website.

This Client Procedures Circular is in effect from the date of posting on Industry Canada's website.

Contents

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Introduction

This circular describes the procedure to be used when submitting licence applications for fixed earth stations operating in any space radiocommunication service other than the mobile and amateur satellite services. This procedure replaces the licence application procedure and eligibility criteria set out in Radio Standards Procedure, Licence Application Procedure for Planned Earth Stations in Space Radiocommunication Services (RSP-114), and Radio Standards Procedure, Licence Application Procedure for Planned Television and/or Radio Receive Only (TVRO) Earth Stations in the Fixed-satellite Service (RSP-116)Footnote 1.

In December 1998, Industry Canada released its Radio Systems Policy, Policy Framework for the Provision of Fixed Satellite Services (RP-008). By means of this policy framework, Canada liberalized many aspects of the provision of fixed-satellite service (FSS) communications in Canada. As a consequence of this liberalization and other related commitments made in the policy framework, many aspects of Industry Canada's existing radio licence application procedure for fixed earth stations required modification.

This circular describes an earth station licence application procedure that accommodates provisions in the policy framework with respect to the use of foreign FSS satellites. In carrying out the commitment to establish a procedure by which satellite operators may submit technical and administrative information on satellite stations to facilitate subsequent approvals of earth station licence applications, this circular also sets out a procedure to obtain approval for the use of foreign FSS satellites in the Canadian market.

Principles

The radio frequency spectrum is a public resource to which all Canadians are entitled access. Industry Canada endeavours to provide this access with as little administrative burden to clients as possible, while ensuring the Department's ability to effectively manage the radio spectrum.

Mandate

Section 5 of the Radiocommunication Act stipulates that the Minister of Industry may issue radio and spectrum licences, and fix terms and conditions of such licences in order to permit the operation of radio stations, or the use of radio spectrum in Canada.

Licensing Policies

Licensing Instrument: The operation of fixed earth stations in Canada and the use of specific satellites will be authorized by means of radio licences. However, Industry Canada will soon consult with the public on the use of spectrum licences, to authorize the operation of fixed-satellite services in Canada.

The technical requirements for earth stations as set out in RSP-114 and RSP-116 will remain in effect.

Term of Licence: Radio licences expire on March 31 of each year and are renewable for a twelve-month period.

Licence Exemptions: No licence will be issued for broadcasting receive-only earth stations that are exempt from the licensing requirement pursuant to paragraph 4(1)(b) of the Radiocommunication Act. In addition, no radio authorization is required where receive-only earth stations providing telecommunications services meet the exemption criteria as low-power radio apparatus pursuant to RSS-Gen, General Requirements and Information for the Certification of Radiocommunication Equipment, Low-power Licence-exempt Radiocommunication Devices (All Frequency Bands): Category I Equipment (RSS-210) and Low-power Licence-exempt Radiocommunication Devices (All Frequency Bands): Category II Equipment (RSS-310), and communicate with satellites that are approved for use in Canada.

The Department will consider applications to license these latter stations if protection is required from potential interference, or if coordination is required with other radio services or radio stations.

Foreign Satellite News Gathering Earth Stations: Foreign operators of satellite news gathering (SNG) earth stations are eligible to apply for short-term licences under this procedure. However, a reciprocal arrangement between the former Department of Communications and the Federal Communications Commission exists by which the Department recognizes SNG licences issued by the United States. American SNG operators are advised to consult with one of the Department's regional offices for procedures to obtain permission to operate while temporarily in Canada.

Evaluation Criteria: Applications to license a fixed earth station are evaluated against the following criteria:

Eligibility to Hold Licences: Licences for fixed earth stations may be issued, as appropriate, to eligible radiocommunication carriers, service providers or users. Applicants must comply with the eligibility criteria for holding radio licences as set out in section 10.1 of the Radiocommunication Regulations.

Spectrum Allocation and Utilization Policies: Applications to license fixed earth stations are evaluated to ensure compliance with Canadian spectrum allocation and utilization policies. Although many bands of frequencies are allocated internationally and domestically to various radiocommunication services, the Department has been licensing fixed earth stations in only some of these bands. Details of the frequency bands available for assignment are provided in Annex I of this document. The Department will consider opening additional frequency bands for licensing in the context of future public reviews of spectrum utilization policies.

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Use of Approved Satellite: All fixed-satellite service earth stations must use a satellite that has been approved for use in Canada. Canadian satellites are approved for use by means of a licence issued in accordance with the procedure described in Client Procedures Circular, Licensing of Space Stations (CPC-2-6-02). The use of foreign satellites will be permitted where the satellite meets the main assessment criteria for satellites authorized by World Trade Organization (WTO) members, as specified in Annex D of Radio Systems Policy, Policy Framework for the Provision of Fixed Satellite Services (RP-008).

Applicants wishing to license fixed-satellite service earth stations that will use foreign satellites must demonstrate that the satellites will meet these criteria. In order to facilitate the licensing process for earth stations, foreign satellite operators or their representatives may find it beneficial to establish, in advance of the submission of earth station licence applications, that their satellite system meets these Canadian assessment criteria. To this end, a procedure for the submission of information to make such a determination is provided below.

Applications to license earth stations proposing to use a satellite that has already been approved for use following this procedure do not require this information. A list of satellites that have been approved for use in Canada is available on Industry Canada's Spectrum Management and Telecommunications website at http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf02104.html.

Domestic and International Coordination: Domestic coordination is carried out to show that operation of a proposed frequency assignment can be accommodated among previously established or other formally proposed Canadian frequency assignments. International coordination is carried out to protect the operation of proposed Canadian frequency assignments from frequency assignments in other countries. Information concerning coordination is provided in Annex II of this circular.

Technical Acceptability: Earth station radio apparatus must comply with the applicable Canadian technical requirements as specified in Radio Standards Procedure, Licence Application Procedure for Planned Earth Stations in Space Radiocommunication Services (RSP-114) or Radio Standards Procedure, Licence Application Procedure for Planned Television and/or Radio Receive Only (TVRO) Earth Stations in the Fixed-satellite Service (RSP-116).

Safety Code 6, Land-Use and Public Consultation, Environmental Assessment and Aeronautical Safety: Applicants must comply with the procedures, as outlined in CPC-2-0-03, Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems. Among other requirements, these procedures require that: (a) radio stations are installed and operated in a manner that complies with the limits of human exposure to radio frequency fields established by Health Canada; (b) prior to installation or modification of significant antenna structures, necessary consultation has taken place; (c) the installation and modification of radio stations are done in a manner that complies with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act; and (d) proponents ensure that their proposals for any antenna are first reviewed by Transport Canada and NAV CANADA.

Lawful Intercept Capability: Industry Canada does not require that FSS providers provide lawful intercept capabilities. Applicants are nonetheless advised to note that compliance with a requirement to provide lawful intercept capability may be imposed via licence condition or other legislative provision at any point in time in the future.

Licence Application Procedures and Processing

This circular provides two approaches that an applicant may pursue to apply for a licence for an earth station.

The first approach is a one-step application involving the submission of complete information about the earth station. The Department recognizes that in some cases, considerable planning is involved prior to the establishment of an earth station, and that an applicant may wish to seek assurance from the department in advance that a licence can be issued or be informed of the conditions under which such a licence would be issued. To this end, an applicant may pursue the second approach and request an approval in principle with respect to the licensing of a proposed earth station by submitting a letter of intent to establish an earth station.

I. Application to License a Fixed Earth Station

Application for a New Licence. An application to license an earth station may be submitted not earlier than two years before the expected in-service date of the station. A complete application consists of the following:

  1. a certified technical brief containing the information about the earth station as listed in Annex III;Footnote 2
  2. information about the satellite(s), if not already approved, as listed in Annex IV;
  3. a copy of the agreement between the applicant and the space station operator, or its representatives, that provides for access to the space station capacity or signals; and
  4. the radio licence fee.

Additional Information. In some cases, Industry Canada may require the submission of additional information in order to complete the evaluation of an application.

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Transportable Earth Stations. Applications to license transportable earth stations consist of the same information described above. However, licences for transportable earth stations may carry conditions of licence requiring subsequent departmental approval prior to relocation.

Typical Earth Station. Where the applicant expects to establish a significant number of the same type of earth station, such as very small aperture terminal (VSAT) networks, the applicant may wish to submit an application containing the particulars of the typical earth station to be deployed using Annex III as a guide. Under the typical earth station licensing approach, the licensing of additional similar stations would be facilitated by the submission of only the specific information that would be different for the additional earth stations to be licensed.

Amendment to a Licence. Any changes to the operation of an earth station, as described in the information submitted to obtain a licence, require approval by the Department prior to implementation. To apply for such an approval, a licensee must submit the information as described above for a new licence, with additional information that will identify the licence to be amended.

Departmental Response. Industry Canada will evaluate an application and respond to the applicant within 45 days of receipt of a complete application. The response will reflect one of the following:

Application Accepted. Where the application is found acceptable, a radio licence for the station will be issued. In some cases, the issuance of a licence would be subject to the applicant's acceptance of conditions. In such cases, the applicant would be issued an approval in principle for the establishment of the station with the conditions that would apply to the authorization of the earth station. Where the applicant accepts such conditions, a licence would then be issued.

Domestic Coordination Required. If domestic coordination is required, the applicant will be advised of the requirement and will be given a list of other users with which to carry out coordination. Once completed, the applicant must forward the results of the coordination to Industry Canada. Should the technical parameters of the proposed station be modified as a result of the coordination, the applicant must submit the revised Annex III information. If requested by the Department, the applicant must also provide any relevant technical information relating to the coordination.

In order to expedite the processing of an application, an applicant may wish to initiate domestic coordination of the proposed frequency assignment in advance of submitting a radio licence application.

International Coordination Required. In cases where international coordination of the proposed station is required, the Department will initiate the process. However, if sufficient information is not available, or if the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) forms of notice are to be provided, the applicant will be advised.

Additional Information. Where a requirement for additional information is identified, the applicant will be advised.

Application Denied. If the application to obtain a licence is denied, the applicant will be advised with a reason given for the denial. To the extent possible, the Department will identify potential alternatives to satisfy the applicant's communication requirement. The applicant may then modify and resubmit its application based on the response received or request a reconsideration based on the presentation of new information or arguments.

Public Information. The Department's Technical and Administrative Frequency Lists (TAFL) are available to the public. The lists contain the technical parameters of most licensed Canadian earth stations, including fixed earth stations. The TAFL can be found on Industry Canada's website at http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/h_sf06018.html.

II. Letter of Intent

A letter of intent, requesting an approval in principle to establish an earth station, consists of the following:

  1. information about the applicant and the earth station as listed in sections 1 and 2 of Annex III.
  2. information about the satellite(s), if not already approved, as listed in Annex IV.

Within 30 days of receiving such a letter of intent, Industry Canada will respond to the applicant. Where the letter of intent is found acceptable, the applicant may receive an approval in principle for the establishment of the station, and the conditions that would apply to the authorization of the earth station. Where such an approval in principle is granted, the applicant will be invited to submit the remainder of the information to complete the application to license a fixed earth station. Once the remainder of the information is provided, the Department will assess the complete application and provide an appropriate response, as indicated in the above section.