Telesat Lightspeed to Bridge Ontario’s Digital Divide Through $109 Million Partnership with the Government of Ontario
OTTAWA, Aug. 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — 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.
Backed by a legacy of engineering excellence, reliability and industry-leading customer service, Telesat is 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 profitable growth.
Continuously innovating to meet the connectivity demands of the future, Telesat Lightspeed, the company’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite network, will be the first and only LEO network optimized to meet the rigorous requirements of telecom, government, maritime and aeronautical customers. Operating under its international priority Ka-band spectrum rights, Telesat Lightspeed will redefine global satellite connectivity with ubiquitous, affordable, high-capacity links with fibre-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.
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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 “future”, and “will”, 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” section of Telesat Canada’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 and in Telesat Canada’s Quarterly Report on Form 6-K for the quarter ending March 31, 2021, both of which can be obtained on 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 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, risks and expense associated with becoming a publicly listed company 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.