Advanced Television

Quebec to connect homes with Starlink

May 11, 2022

By Chris Forrester

Quebec’s government is already financially supporting its Canada-based satellite operator Telesat and its planned Lightspeed low Earth orbiting constellation. It is also helping to connect homes in difficult to reach regions using Elon Musk’s Starlink.

Just over 10,000 remote homes will be connected by the American company’s service. Starlink’s low-earth orbit satellites, operated by SpaceX, were the best technological solution to connect the households most difficult to reach by fibre optics, said Gilles Bélanger, the parliamentary assistant to the premier for high-speed Internet, at a press conference in Quebec.

Because of their geographical remoteness, some homes can’t be connected to a fibre optic network, he added.

“The only solution to connect these orphaned households is the SpaceX solution. I’m not linking to Elon Musk, I’m linking to the technology solution, which is the most advanced,” commented Bélanger.

If fibre optics was prioritised where possible, homes that will be connected to high-speed Internet via satellite will have just as good a connection, Bélanger said. Starlink will be able to offer 100 megabits (Mbps) of download speed, while a connection is considered high-speed at 50 Mbps or more.

“Often, people will confuse the old high-orbit satellite with the new low-orbit satellite. There will be no problem in terms of quality of internet service,” he added.

Quebec will provide C$50 million in funding for the deployment of Starlink’s satellite transmission service. The government hopes to have 10,200 homes south of the 57th parallel connected by September 30th this year.

A C$9.5-million subsidy will also be granted to the targeted households to cover the full cost of acquiring the necessary equipment.

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