The Government of Canada has entered into an agreement with Telesat to secure high-speed Internet capacity over Canada through the company’s low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation. Telesat’s constellation will utilize next-generation technology to significantly improve connectivity in rural and remote Canada, including the far north. Under the agreement, the Government has committed up to $600 million to secure capacity on Telesat’s LEO satellite constellation. This capacity will be made available to Internet service providers at a reduced rate in order to provide high-speed, reliable Internet access to the most challenging rural and remote communities in Canada.
The $1.75 billion Universal Broadband Fund will support high-speed Internet projects across the country. The Universal Broadband Fund has been designed to fund broadband infrastructure projects that will bring high-speed Internet at 50/10 Megabits per second (Mbps) to rural and remote communities. In addition to funding a diversity of high-speed Internet projects to connect Canadians, there is:
up to $750 million available for large impact projects
up to $50 million available to support mobile projects that primarily benefit Indigenous peoples.
up to $150 million available as part of our Rapid Response Stream.The objective of this stream, which has a budget of up to $150 million, is to enhance household access to high-speed Internet in the very short term or before November 15, 2021 to address immediate broadband needs and to contribute to the acceleration of the connectivity timelines and ambitions of the Universal Broadband Fund. It will allocate contributions of up to $5 million to projects that can be deployed quickly and have a big impact on networks in rural and remote areas where Internet service speeds have not yet reached 50/10 Mbps.
Milton MP Adam Vankoeverden has been lobbying his ministries on the issue of broadband was pleased with the announcement. “This is big news for Milton, and our friends and neighbours living in rural Milton, Campbellville, rural Burlington and all over the Halton region, who have waited too long for high speed internet at home. In today’s world, access to internet should not be a luxury. With more households working, completing school and interacting online during the pandemic, we need reliable and accessible internet more than ever.”