Extension of Implementation of Spectrum Usage Deadline for 2300/3500 MHz Licences

July 2, 2009

See below for list of recipients

Dear :

Industry Canada has received several requests from licensees of spectrum in the 2300 MHz and 3500 MHz bands seeking an extension to the deadline for the Implementation of Spectrum Usage licence condition.

Currently, this licence condition states that: "The licensee must demonstrate to the Department that their spectrum is being put to use at a level acceptable to the Department within five years of receipt of licence(s). The establishment of coverage to 50% of the population within the licensed service area, or some other indicator of usage that is acceptable to the Department ...will be required." The objective of this condition of licence is to ensure that the spectrum is used and to deter spectrum acquisition either for speculation or warehousing purposes. Industry Canada recognizes, however, that extenuating circumstances outside the licensee’s control may affect its deployment plans.

A number of licensees have requested that the implementation deadline be extended. Reasons cited for the extension for the 2300 MHz frequency band are that the equipment is not yet ready for commercial deployment and that the delay in the development of suitable and affordable equipment is a direct consequence of regulatory issues and uncertainties in the U.S. In December 2007, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to establish permanent rules for satellite digital audio radio services (SDARS) terrestrial repeaters and to propose changes to the rules governing this band, including relaxing the stringent out-of-band emission limits.

With respect to the 3500 MHz band, although WiMax equipment is available, the current version (802.16d) is not compatible with the next generation (802.16e), which incorporates technical improvements. Given that 802.16e is increasingly available, but not yet tested to the level that would give these licensees sufficient confidence to deploy, they claim that deploying 802.16d is not practical.

Following a careful review of submissions received, along with our own analysis, Industry Canada concurs that the reasons outlined justify an extension to the deadline for the Implementation of Spectrum Usage licence condition. The Department is therefore amending this licence condition and will now require that licensees demonstrate to the Minister of Industry that the spectrum has been put to use by the end of year eight of their licence term. For consistency and fairness, it was decided to provide this extension to all auctioned spectrum licences in the 2300 MHz and 3500 MHz bands.

Please note that you must submit an annual report for each year of the term of the licence indicating continued compliance with all licence conditions, including an update on your implementation. If at the end of your licence term the Department considers that you are in non-compliance with any of the licence conditions, including the implementation requirement, your licence(s) may not be renewed.

Should you have any questions or require further information, please contact Heather Hall, Manager of Emerging Networks at 613-990-4411.

Sincerely,

Original signed by

Michael D. Connolly
Director General
Radiocommunications and Broadcasting
Regulatory Branch

Recipients:

Andy Wood, YourLink Inc.
Luc Couture, Réseau TW s.e.c.
Michel Laurent, Cooptel
Don Falle, Inukshuk Wireless Partnership
Robert Allen, ABC Allen Business Communications Ltd.
Ron Mervis, Amtelecom Limited Partnership
George C. Alex, 4253311 Canada Inc.
Stuart Wilson, Birch Hill Telecom G.P. Corp.
Michael Fiorini, ccROUTE Inc.
Ron Mason, Pathfinder Property Corporation
Denis Bélanger, Cogeco Cable Inc.
Bill MacDonald, Barrett Broadband Networks Inc.
Glenn Grubb, Comcentric Networking Inc.
Wally Romansky, Chatham Internet Access
Randy Priore, Cranbrook Internet Network Technologies
Melvin Cohen, Distributel Spectrum Inc.
Joe Boutros, Mipps Inc.
Scott Nugent, Peoples Tel Limited Partnership
Kingsley S. Grant, RipNET Limited
Larry Wagman, Saskatchewan Telecommunications
Charles Clark, I-Netlink Incorporated
James D. Campbell, Source Cable Limited
Amedeo Bernardi, O.N. Tel Inc.
Alain Duhaime, Sogetel Inc.
John Barch, TbayTel
Ed Prior, Telus Communications Company
Pierre Dufresne, Télédistribution Amos Inc.
John Foss, Westcoast Energy Inc.

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