Advanced Television

Telesat asks for Lightspeed launch delays

November 6, 2023

By Chris Forrester

Telesat of Canada – six years since the company was granted FCC permission to access the US market on the basis that 50 per cent of its 117-satellite constellation would be in orbit – is asking for a further delay of four and a half years.

The FCC issued its initial Order permitting Telesat to access the US market on November 2nd 2017.

Coincidentally, the FCC at the time had received 11 additional applications for access to the available frequencies, including one from WorldVu which went on to become OneWeb.

Viasat, SES/O3b, Space Norway, SpaceX and Hughs Network Systems objected or requested more information or variations in Telesat’s scheme.

The FCC ruled that Telesat would “serve the public interest” and approved its application but added: “Telesat must launch the [satellites], place them in the assigned orbits, and operate them in accordance with the station authorisation no later than November 3rd 2023.”

Telesat is due to hold a conference call later today (November 6th) to discuss its latest results.

Telesat has signed a 14-launch agreement with SpaceX to place the Lightspeed constellation into orbit starting in 2026. Each SpaceX rocket will carry up to 18 satellites. Service to customers is scheduled to start in 2027.

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