Satellite operator Telesat has announced that it is set to receive a CAD$1.44 billion (approx. US$1.14 billion) investment from the Government of Canada to support Telesat Lightspeed, the company’s forthcoming Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Ka-band satellite network.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Government of Canada would provide a 20-year loan of CAD$790 million and make a CAD$650 million preferred equity investment in Telesat Lightspeed. In return, Telesat will commit to making certain minimum expenditures in Canada in connection with the programme and create hundreds of local jobs.
“The Government of Canada’s investment in Telesat Lightspeed underscores the programme’s transformational ability to bridge the digital divide, position Canada at the forefront of the burgeoning new space economy, and deliver sustained and high-quality job creation and economic growth in Canada,” said Dan Goldberg, Telesat’s President and CEO.
“We applaud the government’s recognition of the importance and promise of Telesat Lightspeed. With the funding announced today and other financing sources already in place, including the previously announced investment by the Government of Quebec, Telesat now has arrangements for approximately CAD$4 billion in funding for the programme. We expect to secure in the near term the remaining financial commitments required to fully finance Telesat Lightspeed.”
The Telesat Lightspeed network will initially be comprised of 298 satellites delivering multiple Gbps bandwidth speeds across the globe. The CAD$4 billion of financing arrangements in place to fund its deployment includes roughly CAD$1.7 billion of cash contribution from Telesat and a CAD$400 million investment from the Government of Quebec. The balance of the funding is expected to come primarily from debt financing.