The Canadian Press
OTTAWA–The federal government is spending $85 million to help develop advanced satellite technology with hopes it will one day expand access to affordable, high-speed internet to some of Canada’s hardest-to-reach regions.
The funding will support a space project by Ottawa-based company Telesat to build and launch a group of co-ordinated satellites–also known as a constellation–in low Earth orbit.
The Trudeau government also said yesterday it reached a preliminary agreement with Telesat that could see the government commit up to $600 million over 10 years for privileged access to the eventual group of satellites.
The Liberals have set a goal of ensuring all Canadians are connected to high-speed internet by 2030.
“In communities across Canada there continue to be challenges accessing high-speed Internet,” said Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains as he announced the new commitments in Ottawa.
“Just think of the economic opportunities that will be unlocked in Canada’s rural and remote communities with reliable access to high-speed internet.”
In March, the federal government earmarked between $5 billion and $6 billion over the next decade to connect 95 percent of Canadian homes and businesses to high-speed internet by 2026.
The Liberal government, however, has faced criticism for its efforts to expand rural and remote connectivity.
Last fall, a report said the Liberal government lacked a clear strategy to meet the connectivity needs in rural and remote areas.