Government of Canada announces decision to triple spectrum available for Wi-Fi, bringing faster Internet to Canadians

News release

May 19, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario

Changes in use of 6 GHz band will help improve quality and affordability of telecom services this year

More than ever, Canadians are relying on a good Internet connection for work, school, finances and health care, making access to high-quality and affordable services essential. That is why the Government of Canada is making spectrum available to support competition, rural connectivity and the effective deployment of Wi-Fi and 5G technologies.

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced the decision to open the 6 GHz band to support greater choice and affordability of wireless broadband for Canadian consumers. The decision will allow an additional 1200 MHz of spectrum, tripling the spectrum available for Wi-Fi.

More spectrum available for Wi-Fi means Canadians will benefit from increased speed and connectivity for working from home, participating in online education and accessing health care services remotely. This decision also allows for more affordable deployment of broadband technology in rural areas and increased access to the spectrum for Canadian businesses and innovators looking to use it.

The government has been clear that greater affordability, competition and innovation in the Canadian telecommunications sector is important. This decision will result in cost savings that can be passed on to consumers in the form of lower prices.

Quotes

“High-quality and affordable wireless services have never been more important in the everyday lives of Canadians. That’s why we’re making more spectrum available to support greater choice and affordability of wireless broadband. This decision will make staying connected easier for Canadians who rely on their Wi-Fi for accessing school, work and health care from home.”
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Quick facts

  • Access to this 6 GHz spectrum will support higher capacity (more users) and higher speeds (in the gigabits per second) for wireless devices connected to Wi-Fi routers. 

  • With this decision, Canada will be a world leader in Wi-Fi spectrum, further supporting Canadians in staying connected from home during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.    

  • The decision to open the 6 GHz band will allow an additional 1200 MHz of licence-exempt spectrum, which will triple the spectrum available for Wi-Fi and similar technologies.

  • The government is committed to making spectrum available to support the deployment of Wi-Fi and 5G technologies.

  • The 3500 MHz spectrum auction is scheduled to start on June 15, 2021.

Associated links

Contacts

John Power
A/ Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
john.power@canada.ca

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
ic.mediarelations-mediasrelations.ic@canada.ca

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