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Telesat Lightspeed to Bridge Ontario’s Digital Divide Through $109 Million Partnership with the Government of Ontario

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Partnership ensures affordable, high-speed broadband connectivity and LTE/5G to remote communities, job creation, investment and economic growth in Ontario

OTTAWA, CANADA, August 6, 2021 – Telesat, one of the world’s largest and most innovative satellite operators proudly headquartered in Ontario for over 50 years, and the Government of Ontario today announced that they have partnered to bridge the digital divide in Ontario by leveraging Telesat’s advanced, state-of-the-art Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite network, Telesat Lightspeed.

This $109 million agreement will futureproof and diversify Ontario’s connectivity infrastructure, lay the groundwork for continued development and commercialization of Canadian satellite technologies and pave the way for future economic growth and jobs.

Through this 5-year partnership, a dedicated Telesat Lightspeed capacity pool will be made available at substantially reduced rates to Canadian Internet service providers (ISPs), including Indigenous owned and operated ISPs, as well as mobile network operators to expand high-speed Internet and LTE/5G networks to Ontario’s unserved and underserved communities.

Telesat Lightspeed is the only LEO network capable of delivering multiple Gbps of broadband capacity into a community, giving telecom operators the ability to offer a wide range of affordable, high-speed broadband plans and unlimited data to consumers and businesses as well as next-generation 5G wireless services.

Furthermore, with multiple satellites always in view overhead, and the ability to dynamically route traffic to avoid weather events, the Telesat Lightspeed network provides unparalleled resiliency with always-on, high-quality connectivity.

Telesat Lightspeed to position Ontario at the forefront of the burgeoning New Space Economy

As part of this partnership, Telesat will increase its Ontario-based staff by approximately 35%, growing to approximately 400 highly-skilled jobs, and invest $20 million in capital expenditures for expansion of its Ontario facilities.  Investments include a new gateway landing station at Telesat’s Allan Park teleport near Hanover, ON, as well as the expansion of the company’s corporate headquarters in Ottawa, ON, where the majority of its staff will be located.

Building on its 52-year history of operating in Ontario and partnering with Canadian academic institutions, Telesat will also continue to develop and inspire Ontario’s future workforce through collaborative research and development projects with Ontario-based universities and colleges. These projects provide unique opportunities for students to research and develop innovative space-based solutions to improve life on Earth.    

“Access to affordable and reliable high-speed Internet connectivity is essential in today’s digital economy,” said Dan Goldberg, Telesat’s President and CEO. “This partnership with the Government of Ontario will not only achieve the province’s goal of connecting everyone, regardless of where they live, to affordable high-speed Internet, but also positions Ontario at the forefront of the highly strategic New Space Economy through Telesat’s local investments in jobs and technology innovations.”

“Supporting Telesat is an investment in economic growth and good jobs, now and on the horizon,” said Vic Fedeli, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “This is an investment in continued research and development, and the commercialization of satellite technologies in Ontario with economic benefits that will resonate in communities across the province.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted just how important high-speed internet and reliable cellular services are to participate in today’s digital world,” said Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure. “Our investment in satellite today, will help ensure our future demands for connectivity are met in communities across the province, and for generations to come.”

All dollar values represented in this release are Canadian dollars. The transaction is subject to the entering into of a further, definitive agreement which Telesat expects to execute in the coming weeks.

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