Notice No. SMSE-001-23 — Fee Order for Space Stations

Department of Industry Act
Radiocommunication Act

January 2023

Introduction

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (the Minister) is establishing fees for all spectrum licences issued under the Radiocommunication Act that authorize the use of radio frequencies by space stations. The fees are established pursuant to section 19 of the Department of Industry Act.

The fees outlined in the fee schedule below were developed following a public consultation, which was presented for comment as per the requirements of the Department of Industry Act through Canada Gazette notice SMSE-009-21, Consultation on Updates to the Licensing and Fee Framework for Earth Stations and Space Stations in Canada, on August 4, 2021.

As per decisions outlined in Canada Gazette notice SMSE-008-22, Decision on Updates to the Licensing and Fee Framework for Earth Stations and Space Stations in Canada, as amended in December 2022, the Minister will issue spectrum licences to authorize use of radio frequencies by all space stations. Fees for these licences are based on the amount of spectrum authorized on a per MHz basis or a portion thereof. All fees are subject to the Service Fees Act, which requires the implementation of a periodic fee adjustment that is applied to all fees. Periodic fee adjustments are detailed on Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s Spectrum and telecommunications fees web page.

The fees set out below take effect as of April 1, 2023, and are applicable to all space station spectrum licences in accordance with the conditions of each licence. In all cases, applicable fees up to the end of the fiscal year or the expiry of the licence are payable in advance.

Effective April 1, 2023, SMSE-008-16, Fee Order for Fixed-Satellite Service (FSS) and Broadcasting-Satellite Service (BSS) Spectrum in Canada, is repealed, and DGRB-009-99, Radio Authorization Fees for Mobile Satellite Services Using Radio Spectrum Above 1 GHz, and DGRB-001-97, Radio Authorization Fees for Mobile Satellite Services Using Radio Spectrum Below 1 GHz, no longer apply to the use of radio frequencies by space stations.

Fee schedule

The Minister fixes the following annual fees and prorated fees applicable to the space station spectrum licences set out below, effective as of April 1, 2023.

Interpretation

For the purpose of this fee schedule:

Annual fee: A fee payable for a spectrum licence for a complete licensing year.

Deployed space station: A space station will be considered deployed when it has been placed in its assigned orbital location or orbit.

Developmental licence: A licence issued on a no-interference, no-protection basis. Such licences must generate no revenue and be used for research and development, experimentation, or technology demonstration purposes.

Licensing year: Begins April 1 and concludes March 31.

Megahertz (MHz): 1 million hertz. A hertz is a unit for measuring radio frequencies.

Prorated spectrum licence fee: A fee that is applicable for a period that is less than a full licensing year.

Space station: For the purpose of this fee order, the term space station can refer to a spacecraft, or to a payload onboard a spacecraft that is subject to a spectrum licence. The term “satellite” is used interchangeably with “space station.”

Spectrum licence: A licence authorizing the use of radio frequencies (spectrum) in an area, specific orbital position, or orbit in accordance with certain conditions established.

Part I: Annual fees

Fees are assigned based on the amount of spectrum authorized multiplied by a per MHz rate.

Fees are applicable once the licensee has deployed a satellite. Where a spectrum licence is issued to a licensee for a space station that is already deployed, the fee will be applicable immediately.

Spectrum licence fee for radio frequencies used by space stations

For spectrum licences authorizing the use of radio frequencies by space stations, the annual fee payable is the total assigned spectrum multiplied by $124.84 per MHz.

Spectrum licence fee for radio frequencies used by space stations in non-geostationary satellite orbit (NGSO) subject to phased deployment milestones

For spectrum licences authorizing the use of radio frequencies by space stations in NGSO, two fee levels have been established, reflecting phased deployment.

  • Fee level 1: $62.42/MHz will apply from the deployment of the first satellite up until the deadline for full deployment of the constellation, as established at the initial licence issuance.
  • Fee level 2: $124.84/MHz will apply thereafter and will continue until the end of the licence term.

Spectrum licence fee for radio frequencies in the amateur radio service

For spectrum licences authorizing the use of radio frequencies by space stations in the amateur radio service, the annual fee payable is a flat fee of $300.

Developmental spectrum licence fee

For developmental licences for all space stations, the annual fee payable is a flat fee of $300.

Minimum spectrum licence fee

When the application of the fee calculation per frequency band would result in an amount lower than $300, a minimum annual fee of $300 per assigned frequency band will apply.

Part II: Prorated spectrum licence fees

For licences issued partway through a licensing year, fees will be calculated on the basis of 1/12th of the total applicable annual fee per calendar month until the end of the fiscal year (March 31) or the end of the licence term, whichever comes first. Any portion of a calendar month shall count as a full “month”. When the licence expires in 30 days or less, 1/12th of the total applicable annual fee will apply.

Fees for all licences are rounded to the nearest cent.

January 12, 2023
Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry