Government of Canada aims to improve spectrum access for rural and remote connectivity

News release

Proposed changes to spectrum policy would put more spectrum to use for rural Canadians

August 4, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario

Across the country, Canadians need access to reliable high-speed Internet as many of us are working, learning, and staying in touch with friends and family from home. In rural and remote areas, high-speed Internet is also increasingly important for industries and businesses to benefit from newer technologies and to participate in the digital economy. That’s why the Government of Canada is proposing changes to spectrum policies to support easier access to spectrum, which will improve access to broadband services in rural and remote areas.

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced the publication of three consultations on plans to improve access to spectrum for broadband services in rural and remote areas:

To complement these efforts to improve spectrum access and rural deployment, the government is also publishing a decision to streamline its framework to auction unsold spectrum, following a consultation earlier this year.

Access to spectrum is key to ensuring small and regional providers can deploy quality wireless services, particularly in rural and remote communities. The government will continue to look at ways to modernize its regulatory tools and fees to support this.


“Our government is working to make more spectrum available and improve access for companies that will deploy high-speed broadband services in communities across Canada, with a focus on connecting our most rural and remote communities. We are taking action to ensure that unused wireless spectrum, an untapped resource, is being put to use to respond to the connectivity needs of all Canadians.”
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Quick facts

  • The government has implemented, or is currently consulting on, a number of initiatives to promote spectrum access, including:

    • introducing a set of smaller (Tier 5) geographic licence areas to make it easier for small providers to target rural areas in line with their business needs
    • streamlining the framework for residual auctions to make it easier for smaller players to get access to licences that go unsold at auction
    • making additional spectrum available at low or no cost to benefit small and regional providers, such as 6 GHz spectrum for licence-exempt services like Wi-Fi
    • modernizing licence fees for fixed point-to-point radio systems to make it more economical for providers to deliver services

Associated links


Mohammad Hussain
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Stay connected

Follow Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on Twitter: @ISED_CA

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: