Notice No. DGRB-003-01

Department of Industry Act, S.C. 1995, c.1

Radio Authorization Fees for Narrowband Multipoint Communications Systems (N-MCS) that Operate in the 1.4 GHz Frequency Range to Provide Fixed Telemetry Applications

Introduction

Narrowband Multipoint Communications Systems (N-MCS) that operate in the 1.4 GHz frequency range are wireless communications systems. These systems provide narrowband wireless telecommunications services that are capable of being used for fixed telemetry applications such as automatic meter reading of hydro and gas utilities.

On October 9, 1999, Industry Canada issued a policy and consultation document, entitled Amendments to the Microwave Spectrum Utilization Policy in the 1-3 GHz Frequency Range (Gazette Notice DGTP-006-99). This policy paper addresses spectrum for narrowband multipoint communications systems at 1.4 GHz for fixed telemetry applications.

The policy specifies that the designation of new spectrum at 1.4 GHz to support fixed telemetry applications for automatic meter reading came into effect on March 1, 2000, and that licensing applications have been considered as of that date on a first-come, first-served basis. Moreover, if there is more spectrum demand than supply in certain urban areas, the department may proceed with a competitive licensing process after consulting with the applicants.

The department outlined particular licensing provisions for fixed telemetry applications at 1.4 GHz in order to proceed efficiently with a first-come, first-served process and the department also invited comments, by December 31, 1999, on proposed annual fees of $10.00/MHz/1000 households for a spectrum licence in the bands 1427-1430 MHz and 1493.5-1496.5 MHz.

These proposed fees were developed in consultation with industry and reflect the relative fee level for the implementation of wireless networks providing comparable telecommunications services in other frequency bands.

In response to this consultation, one submission was received from the Fixed Wireless Communications Committee (FWCC) of the Radio Advisory Board of Canada (RABC). The FWCC found the fee to be reasonable but suggested that for greater equity among different sized urban areas, the department consider a multi-tiered fee structure defined by population density with the highest fee not exceeding $10/MHz/1000 households.

In light of this comment and the economic benefits that the deployment of automatic meter reading system may bring, the department has modified its proposal in accordance with the suggestion of the RABC. Complete details of the fees, established in accordance with the licensing policy for N-MCS used for fixed telemetry applications, are set out in the following fee schedule.

Fee Schedule

The Minister of Industry, pursuant to section 19 of the Department of Industry Act, hereby fixes the following fees, effective the date of publication of this Notice in the Canada Gazette. The fees are applicable to radio authorizations issued by the Minister pursuant to paragraph 5(1)(a) of the Radiocommunication Act to establish wireless telemetry communications systems in accordance with the terms of the authorization.

Interpretation

1. For the purpose of this fee schedule, "cell" means a hexagonal cell with an area of 25 km2; "service area" means the defined geographic area specified in the radio authorization; "specified frequencies" means the range of frequencies, or portion thereof, in the frequency bands 1427-1430 MHz and 1493.5-1496.5 MHz specified in the radio authorization; "household" has the same meaning as defined by Statistics Canada in the 1996 Census; "household density" means the average number of households per square kilometre in a cell; "wireless telemetry communications system" means a narrowband multipoint communications system that operates on specified frequencies and is used primarily for fixed telemetry applications; and "renewal fee" means the annual fee payable for the continuance in force of the radio authorization until the radio authorization expires.

Annual Radio Authorization Fee

2. The annual radio authorization fee payable in respect of the specified frequencies assigned to a wireless telemetry communications system is for each 1 MHz, or portion thereof, the applicable fee set out in items 1 to 4 of Schedule I for the applicable household density in respect of each cell in the authorized service area.

Schedule I

Item Column I Column II
Household Density of Cell Annual Fee
1. 2,501 and above 480
2. from 251 to 2,500 120
3. from 26 to 250 12
4. from 0 to 25 6

Initial Annual Radio Authorization Fee

3. The prorated balance of the then-current fiscal year's authorization fee for the applicable specified frequencies per authorized service area is due on the date of the issuance of the radio authorization.

4. The month that the Minister issues the initial annual radio authorization determines the applicable prorated fee.

5. The prorated fee is 1/12 of the total applicable annual authorization fee for each month until March 31 of the then-current fiscal year.

Renewal Fee

6. The renewal fee is the applicable annual radio authorization fee.

General Notes

1. The aggregate fees are rounded to the nearest dollar.

2. The annual renewal fees are due on or before March 31 for the subsequent year commencing on April 1.

3. These fees may be revised from time to time as circumstances warrant or as more recent census data become available.

4. Maps of the service areas for narrowband MCS are on the Industry Canada Strategis Web site.

Brian Tobin
Minister of Industry

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