Canada Allocates Funding to Study Public-Safety Broadband Models
Monday, May 22, 2017 | Comments

The Canadian government announced a commitment of C$3 million (US$2.2 million) in 2017 – 18 to engage stakeholders and produce evidence-based analysis on implementation models for a potential public-safety broadband network (PSBN). This engagement and analysis will provide the opportunity to better understand the potential benefits of a PSBN and will support decision-making moving forward, a statement said.

"Our first responders consistently go above and beyond to protect the safety and security of all Canadians,” said Ralph Goodale, minister of public safety and emergency preparedness. “This investment in evidence-based analysis and stakeholder engagement on implementation models for a potential PSBN reflects our commitment to ensuring that the decisions we take going forward to support these critical operations are both affordable and effective."

New technology offers the potential to improve the safety and security of Canadians, including through improved communications infrastructure for first responders and governments. The government of Canada will engage with a range of stakeholder groups, including provincial, territorial and municipal governments; first responders; industry such as commercial carriers, telecommunications firms and information and communications technology companies; critical infrastructure operators, representatives from small and remote communities; Indigenous community representatives; academia; and international public safety counterparts.

The engagement will focus on common or unique elements that would need to be considered for a variety of potential implementation models, such as existing capabilities and innovative solutions, technical/security requirements, public-safety user requirements, infrastructure, spectrum licensing conditions and efficient use of spectrum, governance, costs and revenue sources.

In 2012, Canada allocated 10 megahertz of the 700 MHz spectrum for the public-safety community. It announced the intention to allocate an additional 10 megahertz of the spectrum in 2015.

A federal PSBN task team comprised of representatives from Public Safety Canada; Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and Defence Research and Development Canada's Centre for Security Science (DRDC CSS) was created to advance federal work on this file. The multidisciplinary team will help to ensure that all relevant stakeholders are engaged and that future decisions around potential PSBN options are evidence-based.

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