The Canadian government said it is investing C$85 million or $64.70 million in Telesat, an Ottawa-based satellite company, as part of an effort to provide better broadband internet access to rural and remote communities.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains said Telesat will use the funding to build and test technologies that use low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellites to boost connectivity.
“This new, space-based system will provide a dramatic and disruptive improvement over existing satellites,” Telesat CEO Dan Goldberg said, adding that the technology will be affordable and reliable.
LEO satellites operate 36 times closer to the earth than traditional telecommunications satellites. This means they take less time to send and receive information, leading to better and faster broadband service, even in rural, remote and northern areas.
Canada has entered a preliminary agreement with Telesat that would address connectivity gaps in rural and remote communities by bringing fiber-like internet to Canadians no matter where they live.
Canadian government will be committing up to C$600 million over 10 years for privileged access to the satellite network and to help deliver C$1.2 billion in affordable high-speed internet.
The government promised to make high-speed internet available to all Canadians by 2030. The government has committed up to C$1.7 billion investment, which included funding for LEO satellites, to achieve this target.
The Canadian government in 2018 promised to invest C$100 million over five years in projects designed to boost broadband connectivity via the use of LEO satellites.