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Ontario Invests $109M into Telesat’s Lightspeed Network 

By Rachel Jewett | August 6, 2021

Photo by Telesat

Another Canadian province is investing into Telesat’s Lightspeed network. The Ontario government announced Friday that it is investing $109 million Canadian dollars ($87 million) for dedicated capacity on the Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) network. 

Under the agreement, Ontario will have dedicated access to 40 gigabits of broadband capacity on Lightspeed at reduced rates for local service provider use for five years. Local internet service providers will be able to access this capacity at reduced rates. 

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 Canadian dollars ($16 million) in capital expenditures to expand its Ontario facilities. Telesat plans to invest in a new gateway landing station at its Allan Park teleport near Hanover, Ontario, and expand its corporate headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario, where the majority of its staff will be located.

“Supporting Telesat is an investment in our economic recovery, economic growth and good jobs, now and on the horizon,” said Vic Fedeli, 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.” 

This is a further investment into Telesat’s LEO network for the province, which invested $20 million Canadian dollars into the constellation in 2018. Lightspeed has seen strong investment from its home country, with deals with the Canadian government and the province of Québec. 

The Canadian government reached a 600 million Canadian dollars ($462 million) deal with Telesat in 2020 for a dedicated capacity pool on the network. The government of Québec has agreed to invest 400 million Canadian dollars ($316 million) into the network, and a significant portion of the constellation’s manufacturing and operations will take place in Québec. 

“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,” Telesat CEO Dan Goldberg commented.