Notice No. SMSE-002-23 — Fee Order for Earth 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 earth 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 earth 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 October 1, 2023, and are applicable to all earth 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 October 1, 2023, 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1 GHz, and DGRB-001-97, Radio Authorization Fees for Mobile Satellite Services Using Radio Spectrum Below 1 GHz, are repealed.

Fee schedule

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

Interpretation

For the purpose of this fee schedule:

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

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.

Earth station: A radio station located on the Earth’s surface or within the major portion of the Earth’s atmosphere and intended for communication with:

  • one or more space stations; or
  • one or more stations of the same kind by means of one or more reflecting satellites or other objects in space

Earth station in motion (ESIM): A mobile earth station that communicates with space stations operating in frequency bands assigned to the fixed-satellite services.

Fixed earth station: An earth station that operates only at a fixed, stationary location.

Licensing year: Begins April 1 and concludes March 31.

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

Mobile earth station: An earth station that operates while in motion.

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 in accordance with certain conditions established.

Transportable earth station: A station that can be moved from one location to another, but only operates while at a fixed location.

Part I: Annual fees

Annual fees applicable to earth station spectrum licences are set out below.

Spectrum licence fee for earth stations requiring site approval

For spectrum licences authorizing the use of radio frequencies by earth stations where individual site approvals are required, the annual fee payable is the total assigned spectrum multiplied by the base rate, $/MHz, specified below for the assigned frequency band(s).

  • below or equal to 1 GHz: $2,000/MHz
  • above 1 GHz and below or equal to 3.4 GHz: $100/MHz
  • above 3.4 GHz and below or equal to 7.075 GHz:  $20/MHz
  • above 7.075 GHz and below or equal to 17.3 GHz: $10/MHz
  • above 17.3 GHz and below or equal to 51.4 GHz: $5/MHz
  • above 51.4 GHz: $1/MHz

Spectrum licence fee for generic earth stations

  • Fixed earth stations, transportable earth stations, and earth stations in motion (ESIMs):
    For spectrum licences authorizing the use of radio frequencies by generic earth stations for fixed earth stations, transportable earth stations, and ESIMs, the annual fee payable is the total assigned spectrum multiplied by $5/MHz for the assigned frequency band(s).
  • Mobile earth stations:
    For spectrum licences authorizing the use of radio frequencies by generic earth stations for mobile earth stations, the annual fee payable is the total assigned spectrum multiplied by the base rate ($/MHz) specified below for the assigned frequency band(s):
    • below or equal to 3.0 GHz: $1,500/MHz
    • above 3.0 GHz: $5/MHz

Spectrum licence fee for radio frequencies in the amateur radio service

For spectrum licences authorizing the use of radio frequencies by earth stations for telemetry, telecommand and control (TT&C) for space stations in the amateur radio service, the annual fee payable is a flat fee of $160.

Spectrum licence fee for radio astronomy sites

For spectrum licences authorizing the use of radio frequencies by earth stations for radio astronomy, the annual fee payable is a flat fee of $160.

Developmental spectrum licence fee

For developmental licences for all earth stations, the annual fee payable is a flat fee of $160.

Minimum spectrum licence fee

When the application of the fee calculation per frequency band would result in an amount lower than $160, a minimum annual fee of $160 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