Canada Lags Peers in Solving Spectrum Scarcity in Wireless World: C.D. Howe

TORONTO, May 6 /CNW/ - Canada lags other countries in solving the problem of spectrum scarcity amid rising demand driven by cellphones and other wireless products, according to a study released today by the C.D. Howe Institute. In Solving Spectrum Gridlock: Reforms to Liberalize Radio Spectrum Management in Canada in the Face of Growing Scarcity, authors Martin Cave and Adrian Foster call for reforms to liberalize the allocation of spectrum in Canada with a market-based approach, to increase competition, for the benefit of consumers and other end users.

The authors note the global wireless proliferation and rising demand for wireless products are straining the government's spectrum allocation system. In Canada, as elsewhere, the ubiquity of cellphones, combined with the need for wireless emergency communications systems, and upcoming changes to television services using wireless technology, has transformed the distribution of limited spectrum space from an arcane technical issue to a matter of pressing public interest.

While spectrum reform and renewal is well underway around the world, Canada's approach to date has been cautious. Indeed, auctions that competitively assign spectrum are common, but are new in Canada. Canada also lags the market-based initiatives of other countries, notably Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The authors recommend reforms for spectrum policy in Canada that would liberalize the allocation system and improve the telecom market's performance.

For the study click here.

SOURCE C.D. Howe Institute

For further information: For further information: Martin Cave, Professor and Director of the Centre for Management under regulation at Warwick Business School; Adrian Foster, Partner, McLean Foster & Co.; Benjamin Dachis, Policy Analyst, C.D. Howe Institute, (416) 865-1904, e-mail:

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