1. Legislative Overview

Wireless communications and broadcast operators in Canada are licensed by the Department of Industry (Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISEDC) in accordance with the exclusively federal jurisdiction vested in the Radiocommunications Act Section 5(1) (a) (i.1). Additionally, the broadcasting communication operator’s activities are licensed separately by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

Amateur Radio Operators
Licenses for Amateur Radio Operators are based on operator qualifications and power output levels. Although amateur radio operators usually only have a small number of sites, and usually on their own property, the amateur radio operator is still required to comply with health and safety regulations such as Safety Code 6, and comply with CPC 2-0-03 for public consultation.

Non-Licensed Frequency Operators
Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISEDC) has reserved allocations of frequency spectrum for non-licensed use. These frequencies are commonly used by consumer electronics such as cordless phones, baby monitors, and 802.11 or "Wi-Fi" computer equipment. Additionally, there are frequency allocations in the 9xx MHz, 2.4x GHz, and 5.x GHz ranges which are often used in fixed wireless broadband applications which has been used by internet service providers in rural areas of Canada to provide basic broadband services.

Nothwithstanding the fact that a license is not required for these operators, the operators must still comply with CPC 2-0-03 and conduct consultations for proposed facilities.

Mobile Telephone Operators
While licenses are not required for all allocations of frequency spectrum, those licenses issued to mobile telephone operators are issued to use specific frequency spectrum allocations and are bound by geographic region. The value of each license is determined based on characteristics such as population density, potential customer base, and commercial growth and is further based on the assumption of unfettered access to the customer base in a competitive environment, subject to federal laws. Implicit with each license is the ability to deploy the necessary equipment and infrastructure in the licensed area to make use of the frequency spectrum.

A license granted by Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISEDC), and purchased by the proponent, entitles the proponent to deploy its communications sites within the license area subject to compliance with relevant federal regulations and laws.