Home » About


Canadian Spectrum Policy Research

Canadian Spectrum Policy Research (CSPR) is a project examining the policy and management of radio spectrum in Canada and around the world. The politics surrounding spectrum is of increasing significance for Canadians. As demand for wireless access increases with popular technologies such as tablets and smartphones, the ability to access the publicly-owned resource of the radio spectrum has become increasingly contentious. This website is designed to serve as an information centre for citizens, researchers, and academics with an interest in the politics, economics, and science of spectrum policy and wireless communications.

Among the foci of the CSPR is the role of auctions in the allocation of Canada’s radio frequencies. CSPR will offer critical analysis of the structure, planning, execution and results of Canada’s 700MHz spectrum auction, scheduled for 2013. This auction will re-allocate (or re-farm) the 84 MHz of frequencies freed after Canada’s 2011 transition to digital television, the “digital dividend”. Industry Canada has set 20 year terms for licences obtained via this auction, so this event will have a profound impact on Canada’s digital development for decades to come. Spectrum auctions are not unique to Canada but are becoming a common method of spectrum allocation worldwide after nearly a century of a more administrative government approach.

The CSPR research team consists of Dr. Gregory Taylor (Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Media and Film at the University of Calgary), Dr. Catherine Middleton (Canada Research Chair in Communication Technologies in the Information Society at Ryerson University), Dr. Xavier Fernando (Professor, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Ryerson University), Lianrui Jia (PhD Candidate,Communication and Culture at York University in Toronto) and Alex Liu (BA Honours in Economics from the University of Calgary).  Paul Goodrick (MA Candidate, Communication & Culture Program, Ryerson & York Universities) is a distinguished alumni of CSPR.

CSPR is based out of the University of Calgary and Ryerson University in Toronto and is supported with a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight program.