The Honourable James Moore, PC, MP
Minister of Industry
Vancouver, British Columbia
January 10, 2014
Check Against Delivery
Good morning and thank you everyone for being here today.
Our government is committed to putting Canadian consumers first. All across the country, urban and rural Canadians need access to the latest generation of wireless services. It's needed by those who rely on the latest map applications to find their way. It's required by families who use social networking to keep in touch with loved ones and friends. And it's a basic business tool for rural businesses, which must offer the same real-time support to their customers that urban businesses do.
As mentioned in the Speech from the Throne, the Harper Government has taken important steps over the past several months to support more choice, lower prices and better service in the wireless sector for the benefit of Canadians.
We announced that we will introduce legislation to reduce wireless roaming rates, preventing wireless providers from charging their competitors more than they charge their own customers.
To increase consumer protection, we introduced new enforcement measures so that wireless companies comply with the rules.
We announced that we will not renew 2300 and 3500 MHz spectrum licences for companies that have not used the spectrum, a move that will benefit Canadians living in rural areas.
We released the Spectrum Licence Transfer Framework to promote competition.
We launched a new website on Canada's wireless policies to keep Canadians informed about decisions that matter to all consumers.
And next week, bidding begins in the 700 MHz spectrum auction. This high-quality spectrum will soon be deployed throughout Canada, providing Canadians across the country with dependable, high-speed wireless services on the latest technologies.
Today, I'm pleased to announce that we're taking another important step toward improving wireless services for Canadian consumers with the 2500 MHz spectrum auction set to begin in April 2015.
Spectrum in the 2500 MHz band is ideal for delivering next-generation LTE services on the latest smartphones and tablets, both in urban and suburban areas. It is also well suited to enhancing Internet services for Canadians living in rural areas.
What's important for Canadians to know about the 2500 MHz auction is that its rules were specifically designed with the interests of consumers first, including spectrum caps and smaller geographic licence areas.
Spectrum caps will ensure that four or more providers have the opportunity to access spectrum across Canada. This will benefit consumers by supporting competition.
Smaller geographic licence areas give Internet service providers in rural areas a greater chance of acquiring this spectrum and using it to offer new or improved services, such as wireless broadband, to homes and businesses.
Strict provisions on spectrum transfers will apply to the 2500 MHz spectrum so that Canadian consumers continue to benefit from competitive market forces.
This auction is an excellent opportunity for companies, both large and small, to acquire spectrum and offer Canadians, including those outside urban centres, better and faster wireless services.
Access to the latest wireless technologies has broad-ranging positive impacts—from higher business productivity to better healthcare outcomes to closer families. The potential benefits for Canadians that these auctions represent are vitally important.
Today's announcement is another milestone in ensuring that our wireless communications industry is delivering more choice, lower prices and better serviceto Canadians.