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Telesat Successfully Demonstrates Satellite Broadband in Canada’s North

OTTAWA, CANADA, DECEMBER 7, 2012 – Telesat, Canada’s premiere satellite operator, recently completed its live broadband trials in Iqaluit with outstanding results – results that have demonstrated to Nunavut residents and government officials that today’s satellite services can help remedy bandwidth gaps that exist in the North. These gaps were identified in the Arctic Communications Infrastructure Assessment (ACIA) Report completed in 2011.  

As described in a prior Telesat release, Telesat teamed with top communications technology providers to enable local residents, government officials and business leaders in Iqaluit to have access to advanced broadband services over an extended period. Many participants in the trial experienced broadband speeds for the first time.

The live demonstrations confirmed that true broadband can readily be brought into service throughout the North. Both the technology and the satellite capacity are available now and can be quickly and cost effectively implemented to remedy critical communications shortcomings identified in the ACIA Report.

“Telesat is obviously pleased with the success of the live service trials in Iqaluit which have demonstrated that today’s satellite solutions can provide Northern communities with broadband speeds on par with Southern Canada,” said Paul Bush, Telesat’s Vice President Business Development North America. “The biggest winners, however, are really the Nunavummiut themselves who now know they can have access to online banking and shopping, video streaming, as well as government programs like telehealth and continuing education with true broadband performance. There is no need for them to continue to endure slow, congested networks, or wait years to have what millions of Canadians benefit from every day. Telesat is proposing to make a $40 million investment to bring advanced broadband services to the North as part of a public/private partnership. Combining this with the capabilities of Telesat’s satellites, which provide unmatched power and coverage of Canada’s North, and our decades of experience supporting Northern communications, Telesat is ready to make advanced broadband services a reality for the North today.”

“Users of our Community Access Program site have been amazed by the increased speed and reliability of today’s advanced broadband,” said Catherine Hoyt, Chair of the Friends of Iqaluit Centennial Library. “This demonstration created a real buzz in our community that is still reverberating. Wherever I go, people stop me to comment about this great new Internet capability and ask when it’s going to be permanent. The demonstration convincingly shows that, with the right investment and partners like Telesat, Nunavummiut could have much greater access to education, healthcare and many important services that Southern Canada takes for granted. Improved broadband access encourages and increases many types of literacy. It’s clear we now have the capability to close the digital divide that is undermining economic growth and quality of life for so many of us in the North.”

“Northwestel was pleased to take part in the recent Telesat broadband demonstrations held in Iqaluit,” said Paul Flaherty, President and Chief Executive Officer for Northwestel. “The trial’s success enabled us to launch our 5Mbps Internet broadband service ahead of schedule. We were also impressed with the results of the 3G cellular broadband trial which took place at the same time. Northwestel looks for every opportunity to combine resources and expertise with companies like Telesat who are as dedicated as we are to bringing the most innovative products and services to the North”. 

Telesat is seeking to form a public/private partnership with Territorial, Provincial and Federal Governments, and other Northern stakeholders that will greatly improve the availability and quality of broadband services in the North on a cost effective basis. Telesat is ready to move forward with this partnership and is hopeful that the successful demonstrations in Iqaluit will provide momentum for beginning service implementation early in 2013.

About Telesat (www.telesat.com)
Telesat is a leading global fixed satellite services operator providing reliable and secure satellite-delivered communications solutions worldwide to broadcast, telecom, corporate and government customers. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, with offices and facilities around the world, the company’s state-of-the-art fleet consists of 13 satellites and the Canadian payload on ViaSat-1, plus one satellite awaiting launch. Telesat also manages the operations of additional satellites for third parties. Privately held, Telesat’s principal shareholders are Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board and Loral Space & Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: LORL).

For further information:                                                                
Gerry Nagler, Telesat +1 908 470-4907 (gnagler@telesat.com)

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