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Ontario makes big satellite broadband play


Ontario makes big satellite broadband play

The Ontario government is putting big money behind Low Earth Orbit (LEO) technology to provide broadband to remote areas of the province. Ontario will invest more than $109 million in Telesat’s next-generation Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite Network, Telesat Lightspeed.

Telesat Lightspeed is the largest space program ever undertaken in Canada and represents a $6.5 billion capital investment by Telesat. Telesat has developed a global network composed of 298 state-of-the-art Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, seamlessly integrated with on-ground data networks. Ontario’s investment secures dedicated high-speed satellite bandwidth for local internet service providers to purchase at reduced rates. The program will also involve $20 million in capital expenditures including a new, state-of-the-art gateway landing station at Telesat’s Allan Park teleport near Hanover as well as the expansion of the company’s operations in Ottawa.

In the US. billionaires Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos separately aim to launch thousands of small satellites to zip around the globe in what’s known as low-Earth orbit, or LEO. Their plan is to offer high-end internet coverage for clients like governments, mining companies and shipping conglomerates, as well as providing it to regions too remote or poor to install it on the ground. Startup costs are in the billions of dollars.

Ontario has previously  announced nearly $4 billion to connect every region to high-speed internet by the end of 2025

On July 29, 2021, the Province announced a joint provincial and federal investment of up to $1.2 billion in 58 new projects to bring high-speed internet to up to 280,000 rural households in hundreds of communities through the provincial Improving Connectivity for Ontario (ICON) program and the federal Universal Broadband Fund programs.

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