The satellite was launched from French Guiana at 5:36 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday July 5th, 2012 into a geosynchronous orbit 35,888 kilometers above sea-level; high enough to get a clear view of the vast Canadian territory it will be covering.
A game-changer in terms of ubiquitous broadband access in Canada, EchoStar XVII will greatly expand Xplornet’s 4G footprint across ruralCanada, especially in British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Newfoundland.
The next-generation satellite is capable of providing Internet access to Canadians in rural and remote areas with download speeds up to 25 Mbps, and at monthly prices similar to what urban Canadians pay. Together with Xplornet’s national 4G terrestrial network and another recently launched 4G satellite, Xplornet will close Canada’s urban/rural digital-divide for over 2 million of the 2.4 million Canadian households located in regions where wired broadband is unavailable.
Speaking from the launch site in French Guiana, John Maduri, Xplornet’s Chief Executive Officer said “This launch marks an historic transformation for rural Canada. Where before there was an urban/rural digital divide, that is now being overcome by this remarkable 4G technology.
“Just as Canadians rely on satellites for coast to coast telephone connectivity, now they can look to the skies in terms of their digital connectivity. We are plugging rural Canada in to the global digital economy.”
Xplornet Communications Inc., Canada’s leading provider of rural broadband, has purchased 100% of the Canadian capacity on the satellite, entirely for rural broadband use. Xplornet expects the satellite service to be available to Canadians in the fourth quarter of this year.
“Our investment of hundreds of millions in rural broadband infrastructure is unprecedented. And now we can say with confidence that we have eliminated the digital divide for 2 million Canadian households located in regions where wired broadband is not available. This is a momentous change for Canada” said Maduri.