RP-010 — Policy Guidelines Concerning the Transfer of Radio Licences

June 1988

1. Intent

This document contains the radio systems policy guidelines under which a radio licence may be transferred from the current licensee to a new licensee pursuant to the sale of the equipment/apparatus/associated business. These policy guidelines do not apply to the Amateur Service, Municipal Service or General Radio Service.

2. Introduction

In fulfilling its mandate to foster the orderly development of communications in Canada, Communications Canada issues guidelines from time to time clarifying radio station licensing conditions. Gazette Notice No. DGTP-001-87 dated March 14, 1987 and entitled Policy Guidelines Concerning the Transfer of Radio Licences was published for public comment in the Canada Gazette, Part 1. After a review and analysis of the submissions received, Communications Canada is now issuing this radio systems policy.

Accordingly, Communications Canada is releasing a set of conditions pertaining to the transfer of licences. For example, these conditions would apply pursuant to the sale of radio apparatus/equipment, either as one minor aspect of an overall sale of an ongoing business, or as the result of the transfer/sale of assets from a receiver to another company/individual through bankruptcy proceedings.

3. Radio Station Licence

A radio station licence represents an authorization by the Minister of Communications under the Radio Act to a specified licensee, permitting that licensee to establish a radio station or install, operate or have in his possession a radio apparatus. The radio licence is the means of identifying authorized users and facilitating orderly use of the spectrum. A licence does not confer any right of continued tenure in respect of a frequency nor any guarantee of a continued right to operation.

The Minister of Communications may issue licences for such terms and under such conditions as are considered appropriate for ensuring the orderly development and operation of radio communications in Canada.

4. Policy Guidelines

4.1 Generally, transfers of radio licences involving radio systems authorized to use a frequency which is time-shared among a group of users and/or are in areas of relatively non-congested frequency use will be approved.

4.2 In certain cases, however, where the number of applicants exceeds the frequencies available, i.e. where frequencies are in short supply, transfers will be subject to a much more careful and thorough review and could require further evaluation according to specific criteria.

4.3 When the physical assets comprising the radio apparatus/equipment are bought and sold as a normal commercial exchange between vendor and purchaser, the authorized frequency pertinent to the transaction, which may be only one of a complement of frequencies specified on a given licence, may not be automatically transferred.

4.4 Normally, no licence will be transferred within 12 months of the initial licence issuance date or before the radio facilities authorized by that licence are installed and in operation, whichever occurs first.

4.5 The General Radio Regulations, Part II do not permit the transfer of a licence for a station performing an Amateur Service, Municipal Service or General Radio Service.

4.6 For public commercial and restricted public commercial licence transfers, the system must be developed and be providing service to subscribers. In addition, at the time of sale, the buyer must meet any telecommunications policy conditions which are then in force including conditions pertaining to Canadian ownership. For a private commercial licence transfer, if only the radio equipment is purchased and not the business served by the radio system, the request will normally be considered as a new system.

4.7 The Department considers it to be essential that the transfer of one licensee's apparatus to another does not imply the "purchase" of a radio station licence. Having purchased such radio apparatus, the new owner must meet the Department's normal licensing conditions/requirements. In the event the purchaser fails to satisfy the conditions/requirements governing a transfer, however, a new application will be required and the frequency formerly assigned may or may not be reassigned to the new owner.

4.8 Having conformed with establishment policies and procedures, it is incumbent upon applicants for transfers, in the case of national or inter-regional systems, particularly those involving large numbers of radio units and multiple frequencies and/or stations, to submit a comprehensive business plan detailing arrangements for the development of the channel(s) affected.

4.9 A clear indication, preferably in the form of a written statement, from the former licensee concurring to the transfer of the licence(s), and the original of the licence(s) to be transferred must be provided.

4.10 In the case of bankruptcy proceedings the purchaser, with the consent of the trustee, must apply to the Department for frequencies and conform with the normal eligibility requirements.

5. Implementation

These radio system guidelines for transfer of licences will become effective June 17, 1988.

Issued under the authority of the
Minister of Communications

Richard Stursberg
Assistant Deputy Minister
Telecommunications and Technology