Federal government proposes investing $100 million for next-gen rural broadband delivered by low-Earth orbit satellites

The Liberal government believes satellites might improve rural broadband access

Justin Trudeau head

Rural and remote Canadians might receive improved broadband access through low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites.

Canada’s Liberal government plans on investing $100 million CAD over the next years, in order to support Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) projects that “relate to LEO satellites and next-generation rural broadband.”

The federal government made this announcement in its 2018 budget document.

“The Government recognizes that access to the internet is more than just a convenience—it is an essential means by which citizens and businesses access information, offer services and create opportunities,” reads an excerpt from the 2018 federal budget proposal. “To reach the most remote areas of Canada, new technological solutions will be required. One promising example is the use of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites.”

Additionally, the federal government plans on utilizing the SIF to support larger projects.

“The Fund’s role in facilitating the growth and expansion of firms and attracting large-scale job-creating investments will remain unchanged,” reads an excerpt from the 2018 budget. “At the same time, the Fund’s role in advancing research and development through collaboration between academia, not-for-profits and the private sector will be expanded.”

The federal government’s satellite idea speaks to comments made at the CWTA’s 5G Canada Conference earlier this month.

Rogers senior vice president of regulatory David Watt suggested that, for rural communities like Nunavut, satellite internet might be the only way to establish 5G networks.

Source: Budget 2018

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