Archived—Frequently Asked Questions, updated June 6, 2008
(1) Legal and Regulatory Advice
Separate applicants may receive legal and regulatory advice from the same law firm provided that the law firm complies with the conflict of interest and confidential information requirements of the Law Society of Upper Canada and that all applicants comply with the provisions of the Licensing Framework for the Auction for Spectrum Licences for Advanced Wireless Services and other Spectrum in the 2 GHz Range.
(2) Reducing Eligibility Points Prior to the Auction
In the event that an applicant wishes to significantly decrease its number of eligibility points and replace its Letter of Credit to reflect this lower number of eligibility points prior to the commencement of the auction, it must submit a written request along with a new Letter of Credit. This must be received by the AWS Auction Manager no later than May 2, 2008. The Department will return the original Letter of Credit only after the receipt of the new one.
(3) Communications between Applicants
As stated in Section 5.2 of the Licensing Framework for the Auction for Spectrum Licences for Advanced Wireless Services and other Spectrum in the 2 GHz Range http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf08856.html:
"Applicants are prohibited from co-operating, collaborating, discussing or negotiating settlement agreements with competitors, relating to the licences being auctioned or relating to the post-auction market structure, until the deadline for the final payment on high bids.
Prospective bidders will note that the auction application form contains a declaration that the applicant will be required to sign certifying that the applicant has not entered into and will not enter into any agreements or arrangements of any kind with any competitor regarding the amount to be bid, bidding strategies or the particular licence(s) on which the applicant or competitors will or will not bid. For the purposes of this certification the word competitor means any entity, other than the applicant, its Affiliates or Associated Entities, which could potentially be a bidder in this auction based on its qualifications, abilities or experience."
The application deadline to participate in the auction has passed. On Friday, March 14, 2008, the list of all potential bidders was made public. The auction rules referenced above preclude an applicant (or one of its affiliates/associates) from discussing agreements, or arrangements with anyone else who is an applicant (or one of its affiliates/associates) relating to the licences being auctioned or relating to the post-auction market structure, until the deadline for the final payment on high bids. The rules do not govern discussions with parties who are completely unrelated to the auction.
Industry Canada reiterates that an applicant (or one of its affiliates/associates) cannot discuss agreements, or arrangements with any other applicant (or applicant of its affiliates/associates) relating to the licences being auctioned or relating to the post-auction market structure, until the deadline for the final payment on high bids. Any discussions of a change of beneficial ownership during this period involving two applicants or any of their affiliates or associates would fall into the area of prohibited discussions and be considered as contrary to the auction rules.
However, an applicant may discuss changes in beneficial ownership with parties who are completely unrelated to other applicants and therefore effect a change in their beneficial ownership as long as:
(1) any change in beneficial ownership of the applicant be effected
prior to May 14, 2008; and
(2) the applicant informs Industry Canada immediately in writing of any change in beneficial ownership.
Industry Canada will publish any updates in beneficial ownership that it receives on the auction website.
Applicants are not permitted to change their beneficial ownership after May 14, 2008, until after the cessation of bidding.
Companies will not be allowed to have discussions about roaming and/or tower and site sharing prior to the cessation of bidding.
The prohibition on discussions pertaining to tower sharing only relates to the planned deployment of spectrum from this AWS auction. For greater certainty, discussions concerning the expansion of existing sharing arrangements for other than AWS spectrum or for new arrangements for non AWS spectrum are not prohibited.
(4) Communications with Local Exchange Carriers that are Qualified Bidders in the AWS Auction
The auction rules preclude a qualified bidder (or one of its affiliates/associates) from discussing agreements, or arrangements with anyone else who is a qualified bidder (or one of its affiliates/associates) relating to the licences being auctioned or relating to the post-auction market structure, until the deadline for the final payment on high bids. This preclusion does not include discussions on interconnection with a local exchange carrier (LEC) that is a qualified bidder (or one of its affiliates/associates). This is based on the fact that the Carrier Services Group (CSG) of each LEC is prohibited from communicating information about competitors seeking interconnection services to other persons within the LEC. As a result, assuming that the CSG respects these requirements, such communications should in no way affect the integrity of the auction.
Qualified bidders that are seeking further information about interconnection arrangements should be aware that for the termination of wireless calls on the public switched telephone network, there are standard terms for interconnection which are stipulated in CRTC approved tariffs for each LEC. All competitive LECs will also have Commission approved tariffs for interconnection. Rates for interconnection provided by competitive LECs do not exceed (and are generally equal to) the rates in the Competitive Local Exchange Carrier Model Tariff. For the terms under which they generally offer wireless interconnection, refer to Section D of the Competitive Local Exchange Carrier Model Tariff available at http://www.crtc.gc.ca/public/cisc/c-docs/clecv29_e.doc, or contact Ms. Suzanne Bédard, Senior Manager, Tariffs Competition, Implementation and Technology, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission at 819-994-6134.
Qualified bidders (or one of their affiliates/associates) will not be allowed to have discussions about roaming and/or tower and site sharing prior to the cessation of bidding.
(5) Changes in Ownership
The ownership structure can change at anytime after the cessation of bidding even if Industry Canada has not yet completed the ownership and control review.
If applicants make any arrangements, such arrangements must be concluded prior to May 14, 2008. All communication on non-finalized commercial arrangements must then cease until after the cessation of bidding.
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