LEO projects promise rural, remote broadband in just a few years


Originally published by The Wire Report
Author: Anja Karadeglija

Three years after a number of big companies first announced they would launch global low-earth-orbit (LEO) systems that would provide internet connectivity to remote areas around the world, that space is getting crowded — including with some Canadian competition.

If their plans work out, the state of rural and remote broadband in Canada could see a seismic change within five years.

“They’ll get connectivity that is like fibre connectivity in the south in every remote community, along most of the major highways, in rural areas,” Michele Beck, vice-president of North American sales for Ottawa-based Telesat Holdings Inc., said in a phone interview.

More than a half-dozen companies worldwide, Telesat among them, plan to launch low-earth orbit systems in the coming years. That includes Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, OneWeb, SES S.A.’s O3b mPower and LeoSat Enterprises, and another Canadian company with LEO plans of its own, Kepler Communications Inc.

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