OTTAWA, Nov. 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Telesat and the Government of Canada announced today the completion of their agreement to ensure affordable, high-speed broadband connectivity across all of Canada with Telesat’s advanced, state-of-the-art Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation. Following a Memorandum of Understanding signed in July 2019, this $600M (CAD) agreement enables Internet and mobility service providers to acquire Telesat LEO capacity at substantially reduced rates to bring universal broadband connectivity to rural, Northern and Indigenous communities across Canada. Telesat will be eligible to receive amounts under the agreement over a ten year period once the Telesat LEO constellation enters service.
With just 41% of rural households and only approximately one quarter of Indigenous communities in Canada having access to fast, reliable broadband Internet service today, delivering affordable, high quality connectivity to all of Canada is essential. Telesat LEO will provide the reliable, secure, fibre-like broadband connections needed to bridge the digital divide in Canada, ensuring that Canadians living in rural and remote communities have access to affordable high-quality broadband that meets the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) goal of at least 50 Mbps download, 10 Mbps upload speeds with unlimited data.
In the wake of the global pandemic, dependable connectivity for Canadians has never been more important, as all aspects of life – from healthcare to work to education to remaining connected to family and friends – became virtual. Telesat LEO represents a holistic approach to connecting entire communities: delivering Gbps of broadband capacity into the community provides internet connectivity that supports households, schools, healthcare facilities, and government services, and also enhances and expands the reach of LTE and 5G networks across all of Canada, including in far northern, remote, rural and Indigenous communities.
“Telesat LEO will transform connectivity in Canada, and this agreement will bring affordable enterprise grade, high-speed connectivity to underserved Canadians no matter where they live and work,” said Dan Goldberg, Telesat’s President and CEO. “We applaud the Government of Canada and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada for leveraging revolutionary technologies like Telesat LEO to drive widespread social and economic benefits. We look forward to working with Canadian service providers to provide this capacity to qualified communities across the country to get all Canadians connected as soon as possible.”
Under the terms of the agreement, a dedicated pool of Telesat LEO rural connectivity capacity will be available to Service Providers at greatly reduced rates on a first come, first served basis to provide connectivity for eligible communities. With Telesat LEO’s high performance network capacity, service providers will offer broadband services to their end users of at least 50/10 Mbps speeds with unlimited data, and mobility service providers will offer LTE services.
Additional information for service providers can be accessed at https://www.telesat.com/universal-connectivity/.
Backed by a legacy of engineering excellence, reliability and industry-leading customer service, Telesat has grown to be one of the largest and most successful global satellite operators. Telesat works collaboratively with its customers to deliver critical connectivity solutions that tackle the world’s most complex communications challenges, providing powerful advantages that improve their operations and drive growth. Telesat LEO, our Low Earth Orbit network, will revolutionize global broadband connectivity by delivering a combination of high capacity, security, resiliency and affordability with ultra-low latency and fiber-like speeds.
Privately held and headquartered in Ottawa, Canada with offices and facilities around the world, Telesat’s principal shareholders are Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board and Loral Space & Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: LORL). For more information, visit www.telesat.com.
Forward-Looking Statements Safe Harbor
This news release contains statements that are not based on historical fact and are ''forward-looking statements'' within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used in this news release, the words “will”, “can”, or other variations of these words or other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements and information. Actual results may differ materially from the expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements as a result of known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Detailed information about some of the known risks and uncertainties is included in the "Risk Factors" sections of Telesat Canada's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 and in Telesat Canada’s Quarterly Report on Form 6-K for the quarters ending March 31, 2020, June 30, 2020 and September 30, 2020, all of which can be obtained from the SEC website.
Known risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to: risks associated with operating satellites and providing satellite services, including satellite construction or launch delays, launch failures, in-orbit failures or impaired satellite performance, the impact of COVID-19 on Telesat’s business and the economic environment, the ability to successfully deploy an advanced global LEO satellite constellation, the availability of government and/or other funding for the LEO satellite constellation, the receipt of proceeds in relation to the re-allocation of C-band spectrum, volatility in exchange rates, the ability to expand our existing satellite utilization and risks associated with domestic and foreign government regulation. The foregoing list of important factors is not exhaustive. The information contained in this news release reflects Telesat's beliefs, assumptions, intentions, plans and expectations as of the date of this news release. Except as required by law, Telesat disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update or revise the information herein.