Ottawa spending $600 million for access to Telesat’s low-Earth orbit constellation


The company’s planned 300-satellite network will allow internet service providers (ISPs) to sell high-speed broadband to customers in rural and remote areas of the country. The federal government will pay out the money over 10 years from the $1.7-billion Universal Broadband Fund, announced in the 2019 budget. The company will also receive $85 million from the Strategic Innovation Fund for a $480-million project to develop components for the satellites. (The Logic)

Read this article for free

By entering your e-mail you consent to receiving commercial electronic messages from The Logic Inc. containing news, updates, offers or promotions about The Logic Inc.’s products and services. You can withdraw your consent at anytime. Please refer to our privacy policy or contact us for more details.

Already a subscriber?

Talking point: The federal cash injection—and the additional $600 million Telesat expects to make from ISPs as a result—will help pay for its satellite network, which the company has said will require a “multi-billion-dollar investment.” Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said the government would “love to build them in Canada,” and is discussing that with the company.   Telesat is competing in a crowded, well-funded space—although, unlike its rivals, it has decades of experience launching and operating satellites, and has 17 traditional ones in orbit. SpaceX has permission for 7,000 low-earth orbit satellites and has already launched 60, while Amazon plans to launch 3,236. And, U.S. firm OneWeb, which has raised US$3.4 billion, will make its network available in Canada’s North by 2021. That’s a year ahead of Telesat, which will reach the “far North” in 2022 and have full-Canada coverage by 2023. Bains said the two sides haven’t yet determined how many communities and homes Telesat’s network will serve; the government typically identifies coverage areas and numbers in its broadband funding announcements.