Archived — New Releases: Minister Manley Announces the Policy and Licensing Procedures for the Auction of Additional PCS Spectrum in the 2 GHz Frequency Range

OTTAWA, June 28, 2000 – John Manley, Minister of Industry, today addressed the Net 2000 Conference in Ottawa, focussing on the progress made thus far in fostering a competitive and innovative telecommunications marketplace in Canada. The Minister also delivered a 'report card' outlining milestones reached through initiatives under the government's Connecting Canadians strategy, aimed at making Canada the world's most connected nation.

"Today's report card shows significant progress in meeting the goals of the government's Connecting Canadians agenda," said Minister Manley. "Through partnerships with the provinces and industry, we are increasing Canadians' access to the Internet which is driving demand, investment and innovation in the delivery of advanced services."

Noting that competition and regulation are key elements of the Department's framework for telecommunications in Canada, Minister Manley made two additional announcements.

First, the Minister announced the framework for the auction of additional spectrum for Personal Communications Services (PCS). Access to this spectrum will allow companies to meet existing demands and set the stage for the introduction of advanced wireless services such as third-generation (3G) PCS. Four 10 megahertz blocks of spectrum will be allocated through an auction to be held in early November 2000 with applications to participate due by August 28, 2000.

Consistent with the Government of Canada's policy to foster competitive telecommunications markets, all companies are eligible to apply for participation. "This will open up new opportunities for existing companies and new entrants to provide the services to Canadians offering untethered Internet access anywhere, anyplace, anytime," said Minister Manley.

The Minister also announced the Governor In Council's (GIC) response to appeals of three Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) telecommunications decisions.

The GIC is upholding Telecom Decisions CRTC 99-15 (appealed by Call-Net), 99-16 (appealed by the Governments of Manitoba and Saskatchewan and other parties) and 99-20 (appealed by AT&T Canada and other parties). As part of its response, the GIC is directing the CRTC to report annually over five years on the status of telecommunications competition and deployment of advanced services across Canada.

"In upholding the CRTC's decisions, the government is confident that further regulatory steps, if necessary, can be taken to better foster competition and encourage innovation and investment in the telecommunications industry," said Minister Manley. "An annual report outlining the status of competition and the roll-out of advanced services will help determine if and where further measures may be appropriate."

Canada has achieved among the lowest residential and business telephone rates in the G-7 and some of the world's highest telephone service and Internet penetration rates. Also, Canada's competitive telecommunications market generated capital investments worth $6.3 billion in 1999 –up from $4.4 billion in 1995.

In addressing NET 2000, the Minister expressed confidence that both policy and regulatory measures will help continue Canada's momentum – in terms of both competition and access.

Net 2000 is Canada's 14th annual Internet conference. This year it is hosted by CANARIE, Canada's Internet development organization.

Detailed backgrounders on the PCS Auction Framework and the response to appeals of the CRTC's decisions, the Connecting Canadians report card and the Minister's speech can be accessed on-line at http://www.ic.gc.ca

For more information on the PCS auction, please visit h_sf02076.html

For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Sloan
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Industry
613-995-9001

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