Ottawa partners with Telesat to bring high-speed internet to remote Canadian regions

The partnership will also create and support 485 new jobs

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains announced an $85 million investment in Telesat, a Canadian satellite company as part of the Canadian government’s ongoing plan to bring high-speed internet to all Canadians by 2030.

The Telesat investment is to build and test innovative technologies for its low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation, which will significantly improve global connectivity and expand high-speed broadband internet coverage to rural and remote regions in Canada, including the far North.

Additionally, Bains announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Telesat to secure broadband internet capacity over Canada from its planned LEO satellite constellation. Telesat will provide $1.2 billion of affordable high-speed broadband services through the agreement. It will help address connectivity gaps in rural and remote communities across the country.

Further, the agreement will help the government reach its target of providing 95 percent of Canadian homes and businesses with access to high-speed internet services of at least 50Mbps download and 10Mbps upload by 2026, and to all Canadian by 2030.

On top of this, Telesat will create and maintain 485 jobs over the next decade through the government’s investment. The company will also invest $2.4 million in activities and scholarships for young Canadians in space and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Telesat will create 40 new cooperative learning opportunities for post-secondary students as well. Finally, the company plans to expand collaborations with Indigenous communities to address broadband service gaps and needs.

Update 07/26/2019: Corrected an error regarding the government’s goal of internet download and upload speeds. It now states the government wants to provide speeds of at least 50Mbps download and 10Mbps upload to 95 percent of Canadians by 2026.