Study of Market-based Exclusive Spectrum Rights

Annex 1 – Radiocommunication Act: Section 5

Licensing Powers of Industry Canada

Section 5 of the Act states that the Minister may, taking into account all matters that the Minister considers relevant for ensuring the orderly establishment or modification of radio stations and the orderly development and efficient operation of radiocommunication in Canada:

  1. The Minister may plan the allocation and use of the spectrum;
  2. The Minister may issue, fix and amend the terms and conditions of:
    • radio apparatus licences;
    • spectrum licences authorizing the use of specified radio frequencies within a defined geographic area;
    • broadcasting certificates in respect of radio apparatus that form part of a broadcasting undertaking;
    • technical acceptance certificates in respect of radio apparatus, interference-causing equipment and radio-sensitive equipment; and,
    • any other authorization relating to radiocommunication that the Minister considers appropriate including radio operator certificates.
  3. The Minister may establish technical requirements and technical standards in relation to:
    • radio apparatus;
    • interference-causing equipment; and,
    • radio-sensitive equipment;
    • or any class thereof.
  4. The Minister may take necessary action to secure by international regulation or otherwise, the rights of Her Majesty in right of Canada in telecommunication matters; and to consult the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission with respect to any matter that the Minister deems appropriate;
  5. The Minister may make determinations as to the existence of harmful interference and issue orders to cease or modify operation of the apparatus or equipment causing harmful until the problem is corrected.
    1. issue
      1. radio licences in respect of radio apparatus,
        • (i.1) spectrum licences in respect of the utilization of specified radio frequencies within a defined geographic area,
      2. broadcasting certificates in respect of radio apparatus that form part of a broadcasting undertaking,
      3. radio operator certificates,
      4. technical acceptance certificates in respect of radio apparatus, interference-causing equipment and radio-sensitive equipment, and
      5. any other authorization relating to radiocommunication that the Minister considers appropriate,
      and may fix the terms and conditions of any such licence, certificate or authorization including, in the case of a radio licence and a spectrum licence, terms and conditions as to the services that may be provided by the holder thereof;
    2. amend the terms and conditions of any licence, certificate or authorization issued under paragraph (a);
    3. make available to the public any information set out in radio licences or broadcasting certificates;
    4. establish technical requirements and technical standards in relation to
      1. radio apparatus,
      2. interference-causing equipment, and
      3. radio-sensitive equipment,
      or any class thereof;
    5. plan the allocation and use of the spectrum;
    6. approve each site on which radio apparatus, including antenna systems, may be located, and approve the erection of all masts, towers and other antenna-supporting structures;
    7. test radio apparatus for compliance with technical standards established under this Act;
    8. require holders of, and applicants for, radio authorizations to disclose to the Minister such information as the Minister considers appropriate respecting the present and proposed use of the radio apparatus in question and the cost of installing or maintaining it;
    9. require holders of radio authorizations to inform the Minister of any material changes in information disclosed pursuant to paragraph (h);
    10. appoint inspectors for the purposes of this Act;
    11. take such action as may be necessary to secure, by international regulation or otherwise, the rights of Her Majesty in right of Canada in telecommunication matters, and consult the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission with respect to any matter that the Minister deems appropriate;
    12. make determinations as to the existence of harmful interference and issue orders to persons in possession or control of radio apparatus, interference-causing equipment or radio-sensitive equipment that the Minister determines to be responsible for the harmful interference to cease or modify operation of the apparatus or equipment until such time as it can be operated without causing or being affected by harmful interference;
    13. undertake, sponsor, promote or assist in research relating to radiocommunication, including the technical aspects of broadcasting; and
    14. do any other thing necessary for the effective administration of this Act.

Pursuant to the Act, the Governor in Council (hereafter referred to as the GIC) may make regulations:

  1. respecting technical requirements and technical standards in relation to
    • i. radio apparatus,
    • ii. interference-causing equipment, and
    • iii. radio-sensitive equipment,
    or any class thereof;
  2. prescribing the eligibility of persons to whom radio authorizations, or any class thereof, may be issued, including eligibility criteria based on
    • i. in the case of an individual, citizenship or permanent residence, or
    • ii. in the case of a corporation, residence, ownership or control of the corporation, and the citizenship or permanent residence status of the directors and officers of the corporation;
  3. prescribing the qualifications of persons to whom radio authorizations, or any class thereof, may be issued, including examinations to be administered;
  4. prescribing the procedure governing the making of applications for radio authorizations, or any class thereof, including form and manner, and prescribing the processing and disposition of those applications and the issuing of radio authorizations by the Minister;
  5. prescribing the terms and conditions of radio authorizations, including, in the case of a radio licence, terms and conditions as to the services that may be provided by the holder thereof;
  6. prescribing conditions and restrictions applicable in respect of any prescribed radio service;
  7. prescribing radio apparatus, interference-causing equipment and radio-sensitive equipment, or classes thereof, in respect of which a technical acceptance certificate is required;
  8. respecting the inspection, testing and approval of radio apparatus, interference-causing equipment and radio-sensitive equipment in relation to technical acceptance certificates;
  9. prohibiting or regulating, in relation to
    • i. interference to radiocommunication, or
    • ii. adverse effects of electromagnetic energy from any emission, radiation or induction, the manufacture, importation, installation, distribution, lease, offering for sale, sale or use of radio apparatus, interference-causing equipment and radio-sensitive equipment;
  10. prescribing the eligibility and qualifications of persons who may be appointed as inspectors, and the duties of inspectors;
  11. for giving effect to international agreements, conventions or treaties respecting radiocommunication to which Canada is a party;
  12. prescribing fees
    • i. for radio authorizations, applications therefore and examinations or testing in relation thereto, and
    • ii. for services provided by the Department of Communications relating to spectrum management,
    and respecting interest payable on unpaid fees so prescribed;
  13. prescribing radio apparatus, or any class thereof, that is exempt, either absolutely or subject to prescribed qualifications, from the application of subsection 4(1);
  14. prohibiting or regulating the further telecommunication, other than by persons operating broadcasting undertakings, of radiocommunications;
  15. for requiring, in a manner set out in the regulations, the reception or transmission of radiocommunication by any radio apparatus, or the exchange of radiocommunication by any radio apparatus with another radio apparatus;
  16. prescribing the manner in which radiocommunication is carried on in relation to any class of radio apparatus or radio service;
  17. prescribing the procedure to be followed with respect to the making of determinations under paragraph 5(1)(l), and prescribing the factors, including signal quality requirements, that the Minister shall take into account when making those determinations;
  18. prescribing maximum fines or maximum terms of imprisonment, or both, not exceeding those set out in subsection 10(1), for contravening or failing to comply with a regulation;
  19. prescribing anything that by this Act is to be prescribed; and
  20. generally for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this Act.

Two other Acts which are relevant and whose objectives are to be taken into account by the Minister when regulating the use of the spectrum are the Telecommunications ActFootnote 122 and the Broadcasting Act.Footnote 123 Concerning broadcasting, it is the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) which licenses broadcast undertakings for which the Minister issues a broadcasting certificate which regulates the technical aspects of the broadcast undertaking. The telecommunications policy for Canada is set out in Section 7 of the Telecommunications Act and the broadcasting policy for Canada is set out in Section 5 of the Broadcasting Act.

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