Telesat wants to launch "multimedia" satellite


Ottawa, - Telesat Canada has tabled two proposals with the Canadian government under which the company would design, build and launch two new satellites that would help "vault Canada to the forefront of the global Internet economy."

Telesat says its plan is endorsed by a "who's who" of leaders in the Canadian satellite, broadcasting and telecommunications industries, as well as prominent advocates of affordable broadband services.

"Telesat's plan answers a question that's on the minds of many Canadians: what's the best way to ensure that all our people - no matter where they live, and no matter what their means - can share in the benefits of the Internet age?" said Paul Bush, Telesat's vice-president of corporate development. "Satellite technology is the answer, and no company in the world can match Telesat's experience and ability to deliver these services to Canadians."

Under Telesat's proposal, the company would place two new satellites in Canada's orbital slot at 118.7 degrees west longitude. One would provide innovative new capacity for broadcasting and telecommunications services, while the other would carry advanced multimedia services to individual Canadians and public institutions -including those in remote and underserved areas. The project would support highly skilled jobs and economic benefits for Canadians, and help achieve the federal government's goal of making Canada the world's most connected nation. Telesat's satellites will be in service before the dates prescribed by the government (2003 and 2005, respectively).

Some years ago, Telesat asked the Canadian government to accelerate the end of the company's status as the sole provider of fixed satellite services in Canada. As a result, the Canadian satellite communications market is open to global competition, and Telesat is also competing in markets throughout the Americas. In the last two years, Telesat launched Nimiq, Canada's first direct broadcast satellite, and Anik F1, the first Canadian satellite to cover both North and South America.

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