Canada to invest C$85 million in the sat-based company to boost broadband gap

FILE PHOTO: the Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains, you will be introduced to Blackberry’s CEO John Chen (not pictured) at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, united states, January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo

OTTAWA (reuters) – The Canadian government said on Wednesday it is investing C$85 million ($64.70 million), an Ottawa based satellite company, as part of an effort to narrow the broadband gap in rural and remote communities.

The innovation, Science and Economic Development, the prime Minister Navdeep Bains, said that the funding will be used by Telesat to build and test the technologies that will make use of a low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellites in a bid to boost connectivity.

“This is a new, space-based system, which will provide a dramatic and significant improvement over the existing satellites,” Telesat Chief Executive Officer, Dan Goldberg, said, adding that the technology is both affordable and reliable.

The LEO satellites have to operate for 36 times closer to earth than traditional telecom satellites. This means that they have less and less time for the transmission and reception of information, leading to better and faster broadband service, even in rural, remote and northern areas.

On Wednesday, the Already said, Canada is in a preliminary contribution to the arrangement with Telesat that will be focused on “connectivity gaps in rural and remote communities, by bringing fiber-like internet to Canadians, regardless of where they live.”

However, the agreement has not been completed, the memorandum of understanding (mou sees the federal government committing up to C$600 million, with more than 10 years, and will help Telesat deliver a C$1.2 billion as part of an affordable, high-speed internet access.

The prime Minister, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government promised to high-speed internet access is available to all Canadians in 2030. The government has committed up to C$1.7 billion, including the funding for the LEO satellites, in order to achieve this goal.

In 2018, the federal government has committed to investing C$100 million over five years in projects to improve the access to broadband connections through the use of LEO satellites.

Reporting by Steve Scherer; Writing by Kelsey Johnson; Editing by Paul Commented

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