The federal government is investing in satellite in the north.
Chrystia Freeland, deputy prime minister, and François-Philippe Champagne, minister of innovation, science and industry, made the announcement on Aug. 12.
The government is entering a $1.44 billion agreement-in-principle with Telesat and investing in the company’s low Earth orbit, Telesat Lightspeed.
The implementation of the agreement-in-principle would provide financing to Telesat through a $790-million repayable loan and a $650-million preferred shared equity investment in which the government would get a dividend.
Telesat Lightspeed will position Telestat and Canada as “global leaders in the highly competitive market for satellite services and the fast-growing new space economy,” said a press release.
Telesat Lightspeed will enable broadband internet and LTE and 5G connectivity in Canada starting in 2024, connecting approximately 40,000 households in rural and remote communities.
This technology will help the government reach its goal of connecting all Canadian households to high-speed internet by 2030, including many Indigenous communities throughout the North and near north that lack the connectivity required for social, economic and cultural prosperity.
“Creating remote access to high-speed internet is an essential means for Yukoners and all rural Canadians to connect people, to access information, offer services, and create opportunities,” said Yukon MP Larry Bagnell.
“Today’s announcement is about building a strong future for Canada,” said Freeland. “It strengthens our position as a global leader in the technologies of tomorrow and helps ensure that all Canadian communities have access to the critical infrastructure that is high-speed Internet.”
Telesat is a privately held Canadian-controlled corporation and one of the world’s largest and innovative satellite providers. It has employees in five provinces and in Nunavut.
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