In August of 2021, ISED introduced a consultation on a proposed introduction of a new supplementary licensing process (Access Licensing framework) for unused spectrum, as well as sought comments on how to streamline subordinate licensing approvals; improvements to white space rules; and ending the rural remote broadband system (RRBS) program.
For the call for comments visit here
FMCC’s submission brought attention to the omission of any mention of Indigenous peoples or First nations in the consultation text, and that existing spectrum licensing policies limit Indigenous organizations in providing wireless services to communities. FMCC argued that not only do federal regulators need to address Indigenous nations and communities in policy proceedings, but provide more opportunities for small, non-profit, community, and Indigenous providers to access spectrum. Citing other countries such as New Zealand and the United States where Indigenous priority access programs have been successful, FMCC made the recommendation that any new licensing framework must take into consideration the requirements and jurisdictions of Indigenous peoples and their interests in building and deploying infrastructure and services; Indigenous entities should have first right of refusal for spectrum licenses in their territories; ISED should introduce an Indigenous Priority Access Window; spectrum licensing should prioritize social use; remote and unserved/underserved communities should be prioritized in access spectrum allocations; and finally ISED should do more to encourage and facilitate subordinate licensing.
For a PDF of FMCC’s submission
For all comments visit here
FMCC also participated in the Reply Comments.