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Telesat Joins Microsoft, Nokia on Rural Broadband Consortium

By | May 13, 2020

Photo: Public Domain Pictures

Telesat has joined the Rural Broadband Consortium, a group of tech firms led by Mobile Network Operator (MNO) C Spire working to bridge the digital divide and bring broadband access to rural areas. Airspan Networks, Microsoft, Nokia, and Siklu, are also in the group.

Rural Broadband Consortium was formed last year and has been testing technology solutions, creating and building new business models, and providing digital skills training resources. It is deploying and testing TV white spaces, massive Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output (MIMO) using 4G Band 41 LTE, and a C Spire 5G internet product. Mississippi is the primary testing ground, as C Spire is located in Mississippi, and nearly 28% of the state’s residents lack broadband connectivity. 

Telesat, which is developing a Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation, plans to provide analysis tools and LEO tech experience to help the consortium work on new business models designed to encourage third-party engagement. Last year, Telesat launched a $850 million partnership with the Canadian government to bring high-speed internet connectivity across rural and remote areas of Canada through its LEO constellation. 

“Telesat is a leader in developing satellite technology solutions that help consumers and businesses, no matter where they live or work, bridge the digital divide with reliable, affordable, and high-quality internet access,” said C Spire Chief Innovation Officer Craig Sparks. “We’re excited that they are joining our efforts to tackle this complex technical, economic and access issue.”