Industry Canada and FCC agree to harmonize spectrum for 600Mhz auction


Following what was sure to be a period intense negotiation, Industry Canada and the Federal Communications Commission have reached an agreement to work towards harmonizing TV and wireless spectrum across Canada and the United States.

On Friday, the FFC’s Gary Epstein and Mindel DelaTorre published a blog post that said their organization had signed a so-called Statement of Intent with Industry Canada. The document states that the two parties will work concurrently towards repurposing existing TV spectrum into something that can be used with mobile phones.

To start, Industry Canada will auction the country’s 600MHz band, which is currently used by TV stations, to mobile carriers like Bell, Rogers, Telus and Wind Mobile.

“As part of the Decision, Industry Canada will adopt the same 600 MHz Band Plan that the FCC adopted last year. Industry Canada and the FCC will jointly repack TV stations on the same timetable,” says the blog post on the FCC’s website. “Joint repacking will produce significantly increased benefits and a better result for both countries, making more broadband spectrum available than if each country proceeded independently.”

As the quote from the FCC notes, the decision is expected to create benefits on both sides of the 49th parallel. Canada carriers will likely be able to spend less money on wireless infrastructure, and device manufacturers will have an easier time creating devices for the North American market.