Archived — Notice No. DGTP-004-02

Department of Industry

Radiocommunication Act

Notice No. DGTP-004-02 Revision to the 1992 Spectrum Policy Framework for Canada

Intent

The intent of the present Gazette Notice is to announce the release of a revision to the 1992 Spectrum Policy Framework for Canada Framework) which reflects current policies and practices. In addition,Industry Canada is initiating a process, with public consultation, that will lead to the development over the next few years of a renewed Framework that will be more responsive to the evolving communications environmentinthe longer term.

Background

The Framework contains a set of Core Objectives and Policy Guidelines that provides the fundamental basis for the Department's spectrum policy and management program. The Department's experience in applying the objectives and policy guidelines of the 1992 Framework has been positive. However, there have been significant changes since the issuance of the Framework in 1992. New types of radio communication systems have emerged which necessitate changes in both spectrum policy and management. Also there have been fundamental changes in the telecommunications industry with the advent of the Internet age and increased competition and convergence in the delivery of telecommunication and broadcasting services. In response to these changes, the Department has introduced new approaches and policies over the past few years for the effective management of spectrum. Some examples of these initiatives include, market based licensing, spectrum licences and the broader utilization of frequency allocations. In order to keep pace with current developments, the Department is issuing a revision updating the 1992 Framework.

Discussion

A revision updating the 1992 Framework is issued based on the modifications previously made to specific aspects of the Department's spectrum policy and management program. As these particular modifications to the spectrum policy and management program have been made following the normal process of public consultation, the Department is of the view that it is unnecessary to solicit general public comment on this updated Framework. Nevertheless, the Department will consider any public comment on the completeness of the updated Framework in a future revision or amendment. Looking towards the future the Department anticipates a number of profound changes in the delivery of telecommunications, broadcasting and new media. It is anticipated that there will be an increased reliance on commercial factors in establishing radiocommunications policy and procedures that will facilitate the most appropriate use of the radio spectrum. Common digital infrastructures will increasingly cater to the convergence of multi-service delivery. As well, there will likely be a greater role for radiocommunications in national security.

In view of this situation, the Department believes that it is timely to commence a process of public discussion that will lead ultimately to a revamped Framework. In order to initiate the public discussion on the development of this renewed Framework, the following Section includes a number of broad questions for consideration.

Invitation to Provide Ongoing Comments Towards the Development of a Renewed Spectrum Policy Framework for Canada

As discussed above, the Department is inviting public comment to contribute towards the development of a renewed Framework that will be responsive to Canadian radiocommunication needs for the longer term. The development of this renewed Framework is anticipated to take two years or so and include several phases. The Department now invites preliminary views, as to the issues that should be addressed in this consultation, and their potential resolution. To initiate discussion, several questions are offered for consideration. However, commentators are invited to address any matters within the scope of the development of this renewed Framework.

  1. What are the changes needed to the Framework's Core Objectives to better reflect the changing environment of spectrum users, the telecommunications and broadcasting industries, and evolving radiocommunications services?
  2. Which policy principles of spectrum use and management should be changed to be more responsive to the needs of priority services and to commercial services in an open marketplace?
  3. How can greater flexibility in the use of spectrum be introduced to let market forces seek the best commercial applications? What steps are necessary to ensure that the spectrum would be utilized and not hoarded?

The Department welcomes comment on an ongoing basis from interested parties on these and any other issues relevant to the development of the renewed Framework. In order to be fully considered, initial comments should be sent to Framework@ic.gc.ca by September 30, 2002, or preferably earlier. Comments will be posted, as received, on the Department's Web site at http://www.ic.gc.ca/spectrum.

Availability of Documentation

This Notice and the revised Framework are available electronically as follows: http://www.ic.gc.ca/spectrum or can be obtained in hard copy, for a fee, from

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Michael Helm
Director General
Telecommunications Policy Branch

Jan Skora
Director General
Radiocommunications
and Broadcasting Regulatory Branch

R.W. McCaughern
Director General
Spectrum Engineering Branch

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