Xplornet responds to Industry Canada announcement on 3500 MHz spectrum

WOODSTOCK, NB, Aug. 19, 2014 /CNW/ - Allison Lenehan, President of Xplornet Communications Inc., Canada's leading provider of high-speed internet to 100% of rural Canada, issued the following statement today in response to today's announcement by Industry Canada of the Consultation on Policy Changes in the 3500 MHz Band (3475-3650 MHz) and a New Licensing Process in Rural Areas.

"Xplornet is deeply concerned about this consultation and the proposal that will have a detrimental impact on high speed Internet access for rural Canadians.  At this point, we are reaching out to Industry Canada officials to make them aware of the implications of this proposed change. 

In its press release, Industry Canada says that this is a measure designed to benefit rural Canadians who rely on fixed-wireless technology for their high-speed internet connection.  However, there is a fundamental disconnect between that statement and the proposal.  In fact, this announcement will take spectrum away from providers, like Xplornet, who deliver service today to Canadians outside cities, and give it to the telcos for cellular phone use. If implemented, hundreds of thousands of Canadians will have their internet disconnected, and could be forced back onto dial-up.  Under the proposal, Industry Canada would declare large swathes of rural Canada to be "urban" area, and re-designate the spectrum being used today for fixed wireless high-speed internet in those areas, as cell phone spectrum.  People in those areas already have cell phone coverage, but under the proposal they would lose their home internet connection as a consequence. 

The announcement also spoke about "use it or lose it" approach to spectrum and yet the proposal has the opposite result.  Under the proposal, Industry Canada would take away from rural Internet service providers, like Xplornet, the spectrum that is already in use today for the benefit of Canadians, and give it to the cell phone providers who are sitting on stock piles of un-deployed spectrum in these areas.  .    

The consultation document appears to be inconsistent with both the press release issued today by Industry Canada, and with Industry Canada's recently announced Digital Strategy. They just don't align. Xplornet's mission is to ensure that rural Canadians get the best broadband service possible.  We sincerely hope Industry Canada reconsiders its proposal and allows rural Canadians to keep the Internet service that have today."

The above can be attributed to Mr. Allison Lenehan, President of Xplornet Communications Inc. 

About Xplornet Communications Inc. (www.xplornet.com)

Xplornet Communications Inc. is Canada's largest rural broadband service provider. We believe everyone should have access to the transformative benefits of broadband, so we make our service available everywhere in Canada, including the hard to reach places. We overcome the challenges of Canada's vast geography through our deployment of Canada's first national 4G network, which leverages our hybrid technology network of fixed-wireless towers on the ground and next-generation satellites in space. Our customers live in towns, villages, just outside of major urban centres and in the farthest reaches of the country. Through our coast-to-coast network of local dealers and professional installers we connect our customers to all that the Internet has to offer. Xplornet is high-speed Internet - for all of Canada.

SOURCE: Xplornet Communications Inc.

For further information: For Media Enquiries, please contact: Xplornet: Morten Paulsen, Paulsen Group External Relations, Tel: (403) 453-0062, or Email: morten@paulsengroup.ca


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