The Canadian government committed to invest CAD1.4 billion ($1.2 billion) in Telesat Lightspeed and support its Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite network, which is designed to bring affordable LTE, 5G and broadband connectivity across the country.

Under the agreement, the Canadian government will provide a loan of CAD790 million to the company, as well as make a CAD650 million equity investment.

Telesat will commit to make certain minimum capital and operating expenditures in Canada in connection to the programme and create jobs in the country.

In total, through its Canadian supply chain, it is expected to support 1,500 jobs.

Telesat claimed the initiative is the largest space programme conceived in Canada and “will be the most innovative cutting-edge broadband satellite network in the world”.

Its network is comprised of 298 highly advanced satellites with next-generation technologies, and is designed to provide a connectivity boost to the country at affordable prices.

In total, it said it has commitments of approximately CAD4 billion in funding.

Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Francois-Phillipe Champagne said now was “the time to bolster’s Canada’s position as a global leader in the new space economy”.

Satellite surge
The Canadian government’s investment mirrors other major moves in the satellite connectivity space.

Among them, the UK government put together a $1 billion rescue package for satellite provider OneWeb through a consortium and entrepreneur Elon Musk is also developing a play to bridge the world’s connectivity divide through satellite with Starlink.