The age old question has been answered: if you don’t use it, do you lose it? According to Industry Canada, the answer is yes. As of March 2014, Canadian telecom companies that have been inactive with their wireless spectrum will be forced to abdicate their rights to spectrum licenses. This process has been put in place because there are carriers that face the accusation of holding onto wireless signals as a preventative competitive advantage rather than to utilize the use of wireless for themselves.
“Beginning in March 2014, 2300 megahertz and 3500 megahertz spectrum licenses will be subject to renewal,” Industry Minister James Moore said in a release. “These spectrum licenses contained conditions requiring that the spectrum be used for fixed wireless access, which represents the most affordable high-speed internet access for many rural Canadians.”
Rogers Communications and BCE have been identified among the offenders, although they vehemently deny hoarding spectrum and describe its usage as strategic. Furthermore, Rogers Communications is confident that they can meet all the standards of the license policy.
The hope from this spectrum crackdown is that Canadians will benefit from extra spectrums being positioned across the country, especially rural areas. This should lead to more reliable high-speed Internet services as well as enriching competition among carriers.
Although idle spectrums could be commandeered, these companies will still have the ability to bid on the spectrums and get the licenses back. Those who have continued to meet all the regulations of their licenses will automatically be offered a renewal.
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