The Canadian infosite, The Globe and Mail, has published an article by Christine Dolby who reports on Xplornet Communications, Inc., Canada's largest provider of rural Internet service.
With thousands watching on Sunday afternoon at Cape Canaveral, Florida, a rocket blasted a new satellite into space, a satellite that is touted by its owners as the world’s largest commercial communications satellite at the time of its launch—EchoStar XIX.
Among a smaller crowd of about 100 in a VIP viewing area were executives from Xplornet Communications, which is counting on new capacity to expand their currently strained satellite resources and to give customers faster speeds and more bandwidth. This launch and a second one planned for about three months from now, were several years and at least USD$475 million in the making for Xplornet, which has to plans to access satellite capacity carefully to meet fast-growing data-use demands.
Xplornet is paying more than USD$200 million for a lifetime lease of the Canadian broadband capacity on the satellite that was launched on Sunday which was built by Space Systems Loral and is owned and operated by Hughes Network Systems LLC.
“It is a huge endorsement from our shareholders of how committed they are to our mission of rural broadband,” Xplornet’s chief executive officer Allison Lenehan said in an interview last week. “Where they permitted us, three or four years ago, to start planning for not one but two satellites, with very substantive up-front costs, with no guarantee of us loading them [with customers]."