Public safety mobile operators across the country are getting impatient for access to new spectrum that will enable them to implement expanded services, and new services that will enable law enforcement agencies and public safety response groups to better serve the public. Currently, the group is lobbying the federal government for access to more spectrum so it can implement these new services. The following is an edited excerpt of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials of Canada’s submission to Industry Canada. APCO Canada endorses the current initiative of Industry Canada to enable the introduction of mobile services and in particular, public safety services, in spectrum currently allocated exclusively to broadcasting in the frequency range 764-806 MHz. As acknowledged by Industry Canada in the present discussion paper, there is a critical lack of spectrum allocations in most major urban areas in Canada like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver for public safety and APCO Canada feel that this consultation is timely, if not overdue. APCO Canada agrees critical levels have already been reached in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver and further, recognizes that the need for public safety spectrum is not confined to voice and low rate data applications, but extends to much higher data rates that cannot be implemented in any existing spectrum. There are many perceived benefits in harmonizing and reserving to Canadian public safety the same UHF-TV spectrum allocations that was made available to their American counterparts in the 764-806 MHz band (TV channels 63 and 64 paired with 68 and 69). APCO Canada strongly supports harmonized spectrum and standards and encourages Industry Canada to adopt for public safety the same spectrum allocations band plan, as were adopted in the United States by the FCC, i.e. 764-776 MHz paired with 769-806 MHz based on recommendations of the Public Safety Wireless Advisory Committee (PSWAC). Public Safety Needs for Additional Spectrum The shortage in available frequency channels in urban areas has reached critical proportions for land mobile services in general and directly impedes the planning, development and deployment of advanced applications and new technologies for voice and data communications for public safety. More spectrum, particularly in the 700 MHz, will help relieve the current shortage of radio frequency allocations in major urban areas in Canada. For example, the city of Montreal is in an amalgamation process with the 28 other town and cities of the Island of Montreal. The public safety spectrum (800 MHz) cannot presently answer to the needs of all the agencies operating in the Montréal area. As public safety discovered with APCO Project 16, 700 MHz is best suited for major urban areas, providing enhanced indoor coverage in comparison to lower frequency allocations such as VHF. The radio economics’ make VHF bands a better choice for wide area with low population density and lower capacity needs. The MSUT (Moyens et Services d’Urgence de Télécommunications) report recommended in May 1995 the use of 800 MHz band for the area of Montreal and VHF for the low populated areas of the province of Quebec. We believe that 700 MHz may also be a suitable alternative to respond to the communications requirements for law enforcement and to provide public security during major political and public events, disaster recovery operations and search and rescue efforts. These situations have become more prevalent in the past years and are expected to continue to increase in the future. The communications needs for these events have also raised dramatically. To properly meet these requirements, enough capacity in a very short notice is needed. Unencumbered reserved spectrum in the 700 MHz would facilitate the advance planning and logistics for these often gigantic joint operations which are mainly characterized by interoperability requirements, short planning cycles and rapid deployment of equipment.