The Honourable James Moore, PC, MP
Minister of Industry
July 7, 2014
Check Against Delivery
Good morning, and thank you for being here today.
Canadians have been clear that they want their government to take action in the wireless sector to provide more choice, lower prices and better service.
This includes providing Canadians with access to the latest generation of wireless services.
Our government has consistently introduced measures to support a healthy, robust and competitive wireless industry.
This spring we passed legislation to cap wholesale roaming rates so we can prevent wireless providers from impeding competition by charging their competitors more than they charge their own customers.
We strengthened the rules requiring carriers to share cell towers to facilitate competition.
We enforced a "use it or lose it" policy regarding the use of spectrum to ensure that wireless companies that do not use their spectrum licences will lose those licences.
And we have been taking important steps to deploy wireless spectrum, a valuable public resource and the fuel for all mobile services, to provide Canadians with the access they need on the devices they choose.
In January, I unveiled the details of our upcoming 2500 MHz auction, which included specific rules to benefit rural Canadians.
In February, I announced the results of our 700 MHz auction, the most successful and lucrative auction of spectrum in Canada's history—generating roughly $5.3 billion in revenue for taxpayers, the most ever.
We know these actions have had a positive effect on our wireless industry: there is more competition today, and wireless prices have fallen on average nearly 20 percent.
But we know Canadians still pay some of the highest wireless rates in the developed world.
Which brings me to today's announcement.
I am pleased to announce that the Government will hold an auction of AWS-3 commercial mobile spectrum in early 2015.
AWS-3 spectrum is ideal for delivering fast, reliable service on the latest smartphones, tablets and mobile devices.
Consistent with our previous auctions, the AWS-3 spectrum auction will have rules designed specifically to put Canadian consumers first.
First, in every region of the country, we will be setting aside the majority of this spectrum—30 MHz—exclusively for operating new entrants.
This set-aside represents over half of the AWS-3 spectrum being made available and is the largest single block ever reserved for new entrants in Canada. This will provide a clear pathway for companies looking to expand their wireless network and to deliver fast, reliable services to Canadians.
Second, this auction will feature a simpler, shorter auction process that will provide new entrant wireless and incumbent companies with a visible path to high-quality spectrum.
We will streamline this auction process so that companies will know the results of the AWS-3 auction before the 2500 MHz auction begins in April 2015.
What this means for Canadians is that they will soon benefit from more high-quality spectrum entering our airwaves, resulting in more choice and better wireless service for Canadian families.
Thank you. I will now take a few questions.