Countdown to Rural Transformation Has Started

January 1, 2011

Markham, ON, September 21, 2011 – The construction of ViaSat-1, North America’s first 4G broadband satellite, is complete. A game-changer in terms of ubiquitous broadband access in Canada, ViaSat-1 will allow for previously unavailable speed and bandwidth economics, and will provide Canadians in its footprint, which includes many remote areas, the opportunity to get a broadband connection that is truly fast and affordable.

ViaSat-1 can support customer download speeds of up to 25 Mbps, and its capacity is greater than the capacity of all current North American broadband satellites combined, with the ability to provide broadband service to 1.5 million customers in North America. Xplornet Communications Inc., Canada’s leading provider of rural broadband, has purchased 100% of the Canadian Ka-band capacity on the satellite, and will use that capacity entirely for rural broadband. Together with the planned launch of a second, similar 4G satellite in 2012 and with its national fixed-wireless 4G network, Xplornet will effectively end Canada’s urban/rural digital-divide.

With the deployment of this satellite, Canada joins a group of other countries, including France, Germany, the UK, Australia and India, that have endorsed 4G satellite broadband as the solution for ensuring 100% access to affordable broadband. With their capacity to exploit the full potential of the Ka spectrum-band, these next generation satellites deliver more than ten times the speed and capacity of current systems at a much lower cost per customer.

The satellite will be launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the world’s first and largest operational space launch facility, and the site of the historic launch of the first manned-spacecraft which propelled Yuri Gagarin into orbit fifty years ago this year. The satellite will be stationed in geosynchronous orbit at an altitude of 35,786 km – high enough to get a clear view of the vast Canadian geography it will be serving.

The rocket launch is scheduled for October 18th, 2011. However, weather conditions can delay launches from time to time. To facilitate coverage of the launch, Xplornet will capture HD video, offer a live stream of the launch and is pleased to work with editors to create interview opportunities before, during and after launch. Xplornet executives will be at the launch site to provide real-time comment. Xplornet expects the satellite service to be available to Canadians late this year.

About Xplornet Communications Inc.
Headquartered in Woodstock, New Brunswick, Xplornet Communications Inc. (formerly Barrett Xplore Inc.) is Canada’s leading rural broadband provider, with customers and dealers in every province and territory. Xplornet aims to bridge the urban/rural digital divide by ensuring that every Canadian, regardless of where they live, has access to broadband, thereby enabling them to compete effectively in the global economy and gain access to essential government and educational services.