Government of Canada aims to broaden rural satellite internet coverage with licensing updates

satellite antenna

At the Canadian Telecom Summit, Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), made several high profile announcements that affect the future of telecommunications in Canada. Among them: the decision to update licensing frameworks for satellite broadband internet providers.

Non-geostationary satellite orbit (NGSO) systems, also known as low-earth orbit satellites, have the potential to deliver high-speed internet to rural Canadians, noted the government in a press statement.

ISED says its new licensing rules are focused on ensuring that satellite-based systems will provide complete broadband service coverage throughout Canada, and that it has also streamlined the licensing process, resulting in satellite systems being approved faster before entrance to the market.

“This action will encourage these next generation providers to enter the market,” said Minister Bains in his speech at the summit.

“And that’s good news for Canadians living in rural and remote communities, because these low-earth orbit satellites have the potential to revolutionize the delivery of broadband.”

In June, ISED suspended applications for licensing from commercial NGSO systems while it completed a review. On June 26th, it will begin accepting applications once again.

During his talk, Minister Bains also announced that the government was instructing Canada’s telecom regulator to reconsider a recent decision that effectively shut down backdoor MVNO Sugar Mobile in the hopes of creating a broader framework on Wi-Fi-first MVNOs that could create greater competition in Canada and driver service prices lower.

Image credit: Coekon