In a move to get more licensed PCS services into rural and remote regions of the country, Industry Canada is now offering unassigned and returned PCS spectrum to all comers (DGRB-002-05).  Announced earlier this month, the department wants to dispose of 31 licences covering primarily unserved and under-served Canada. There are, however, three potentially prized properties with a single 10 MHz licence in each of Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador. The table below provides an abbreviated list of available licences.  Marie-France Marquis, manager of wireless networks at Industry Canada, says it’s too difficult to determine how much demand there will be for the spectrum. While she doesn’t expect demand for the bandwidth to exceed the number of available licences, she says it’s still too early to tell.  There have been inquiries on the status of the spectrum, Marquis admits, noting that "we haven’t received any official requests per se. But when you talk to the industry you get questions: ‘Well, what’s happening with the spectrum? What’s available?’ and so on. Based on those types of questions and requests we think that there might be some demand for at this time." Asked whether demand for spectrum could exceed supply, she responds, "It would be surprising, but it’s possible." The spectrum will be licensed over the next year at four intervals with the first deadline being September 16. Subsequent assessment dates are: December 16, March 17, 2006 and June 16, 2006. Companies that find themselves as the sole bidder for a particular licence will be awarded the spectrum with the proviso that they meet licence conditions, including Canadian ownership requirements.  Auction unlikely Marquis doubts that an electronic spectrum auction will be used if more than one company is interested in the same bandwidth as was done recently with the unassigned 2.3 GHz and 3.5 GHz licences and in the past with the 2001 PCS spectrum. "Even if the demand exceeds the supply, most likely we will not go with an electronic auction process …because there not enough licences to justify an electronic process. We might go with an alternative auction process or competitive process, and that will really depend on the level of demand that we will receive for those residual licences," she says.