New auction of spectrum will support competition and provide Canadians with better service
January 10, 2014 – Vancouver – Industry Canada
Canada's wireless consumers have been clear that they want their government to make decisions that will lead to more choice, lower prices and better wireless service.
Today, the Government of Canada took another step in delivering on this Speech from the Throne commitment by unveiling the details of its next spectrum auction. The 2500 MHz auction framework released today outlines the process for auctioning 2500 MHz spectrum licences as well as the conditions that licence holders must respect after the auction. The auction, which will take place in April 2015, has rules specifically designed to put Canadian consumers first. These rules include the following:
- spectrum caps to ensure that four or more providers have the opportunity to access 2500 MHz spectrum, thus fostering competition;
- smaller geographic licence areas, providing more opportunity for rural Internet service providers to participate in this auction; and
- strict provisions on transfers of the 2500 MHz spectrum so that Canadian consumers continue to benefit from competitive market forces.
Spectrum in the 2500 MHz band is ideal for delivering fast, reliable service on the latest smart phones and tablets, and it can also be used to provide fixed broadband Internet services in rural areas.
Canadians experience some of the highest wireless rates in the developed world. The announcement of this auction builds on the Harper Government's commitment and action to encourage more choice and lower prices in Canada's wireless sector. Those actions include the following:
- monetary penalties for companies that violate rules on tower sharing, deployment of spectrum and service to rural areas;
- preventing undue concentration of wireless spectrum; and
- clarifying the rules for transferring spectrum licences between companies, with decisions on proposed licence transfers to be announced by the government in a more transparent fashion.
For more information, see the attached backgrounder.
Office of the Minister of Industry