Industry Canada

Industry Canada

February 05, 2015 14:30 ET

Enhancing Wi-Fi Services in Rural Communities

Industry Minister announces new measures to bring "super Wi-Fi" Internet services to Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 5, 2015) - Industry Canada

Spectrum is the oxygen that fuels our smartphones, tablets and wearable devices. It is a valuable but finite public resource that must be allocated in a way that benefits Canadian consumers foremost. Recently, the Government of Canada has been exploring new ways to access additional spectrum by using portions of television airwaves that are not being used in particular areas of Canada. This unused television spectrum is known as TV white space (TVWS).

Today, Industry Minister James Moore announced new measures that will make TVWS technology available in Canada, benefitting consumers in rural communities.

TVWS technology uses available television airwaves to deliver improved, Wi-Fi-like services in rural regions. Given the excellent coverage of TV frequencies, TVWS devices will initially provide broadband Internet, similar to Wi-Fi, but with expanded coverage that exceeds traditional Wi-Fi.

This move will allow these devices to be used in Canada without interfering with existing TV broadcasts. Today's publication of technical standards and operational requirements, developed with stakeholders, is the last step in enabling the use of TVWS in Canada.

Quick facts

  • Television white space (TVWS) devices and services have been referred to as "super Wi-Fi" by the tech industry.
  • These actions are setting the stage for new options for broadband to help connect Canadians and offer new economic opportunities, two priorities of the Digital Canada 150 strategy.
  • TVWS devices are designed to avoid interference with broadcast operations.
  • Industry Canada issued a policy permitting the use of TVWS devices in 2012.
  • The United States has taken a similar approach to TVWS.

Quotes

"Spectrum is a valuable public resource, and it is our responsibility as government to allocate it in such a way that benefits Canadian consumers first and foremost. Our government has made it a priority to connect thousands of Canadians in rural and remote areas to high-speed Internet services. Today's TV white spaces announcement builds on that commitment by creating the right conditions for new technology and services to be developed and delivered to Canadians at the most affordable prices."

- James Moore, Minister of Industry

"I applaud the government's decision to move forward in making TV white space devices a reality in Canada. These standards and requirements are the important final step in bringing cutting-edge alternatives for broadband access to thousands of Canadian households, as well as ensuring Canada remains a leader in wireless innovation."

- Robert Wu, Ph.D, Founder and CEO, 6Harmonics Inc.

Related product

  • Backgrounder - TV White Space Devices

Associated links

DBS-01 - White Space Database Specifications

CPC-4-1-01 - Application Procedures for White Space Database Administrators

CPC-2-1-11 - Licensed Low-power Radio Apparatus

CPC-2-1-28 - Voluntary Licensing of Licence-Exempt Low-Power Radio Apparatus in the TV Bands

RSS-123 - Licensed Low-Power Radio Apparatus

RSS-222 - White Space Devices

RSS-210 - Amendment 1-Licence-Exempt, Low-Power Radio Apparatus Operating in the Television Bands

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Backgrounder

TV White Space Devices Standards and Requirements

Regulators worldwide are exploring innovative ways to access additional spectrum. Through access to unused airwaves, TV white space technology has the potential to provide opportunities to develop new services in areas where this spectrum is available.

TV white space refers to portions of television airwaves that are not being used in particular areas of Canada. In these areas, some TV channels remain vacant to prevent interference between broadcast stations or because of the limited demand for over-the-air TV stations.

White space technology will work in much the same way as currently available Wi-Fi, except for the use of a database that will automatically determine in real-time which frequencies white space devices can use based on their precise location. This innovative approach will ensure that TV broadcasting is protected while providing the opportunity to utilize spectrum that would otherwise remain unused.

The publication of technical and operational requirements today is the last step in enabling the use of TV white space in Canada for high-speed wireless connectivity.

This will facilitate cost-effective deployment of broadband services where spectrum lies dormant as well as provide opportunities for innovation in new consumer applications and services in Canada.

The requirements announced today were developed in consultation with stakeholders. The comments received were supportive of the use of TV bands for certain non-broadcasting applications in a manner that continues to provide existing users the interference protection they need.

The resulting new options for broadband will help connect Canadians and offer new economic opportunities, two priorities of the Digital Canada 150 strategy.

For more details on the technical and operational requirements announced today, please see:

DBS-01 - White Space Database Specifications

CPC-4-1-01 - Application Procedures for White Space Database Administrators

CPC-2-1-11 - Licensed Low-power Radio Apparatus

CPC-2-1-28 - Voluntary Licensing of Licence-Exempt Low-Power Radio Apparatus in the TV Bands

RSS-123 - Licensed Low-Power Radio Apparatus

RSS-222 - White Space Devices

RSS-210 - Amendment 1-Licence-Exempt, Low-Power Radio Apparatus Operating in the Television Bands

Contact Information

  • Jake Enwright
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Industry
    343-291-2500

    Media Relations
    Industry Canada
    343-291-1777
    media-relations@ic.gc.ca