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Issue 4: Historical Development - Preface

Unique Canadian Needs for Communications Services

Telesat is the world's most experienced commercial fixed satellite operator, and a highly respected consultant and partner in satellite ventures around the globe.

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The Company competes with other top international satellite fleets in providing telecommunications and broadcasting services to more than 275 customers throughout the Americas.

With over thirty years of engineering and technical experience, Telesat is a diversified, end-to-end satellite services company with some 500 employees stationed throughout the Americas and on international assignment.

For over 30 years, since its first services were offered, Telesat Canada has been connecting Canadians and bringing Canada closer together. Providing telecommunications services to all Canadians, including those in the North and in remote areas of the country, has always been the underlying principle of Telesat's operations.

The Honourable Eric Kierans, Canada's first Minister of Communications, in 1969 considered the alternatives that he saw for Telesat Canada. "Telesat Canada may orbit just a single satellite, it may serve its primary function of service to the North and supplementary east-west traffic, but never grow substantially beyond those limits. At the other end of the scale, Telesat may accomplish a great deal more."

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Eric Kierans' vision of what Telesat might accomplish encompassed such applications as satellite-linked data banks in universities and libraries, nationwide electronic newspaper publishing, tele-medicine and tele-education services; electronic funds transfer and direct-to-home satellite signal reception.

While even the primary objective seemed ambitious in 1969, Telesat has achieved even more than what Mr. Kierans deemed to be visionary. Telesat's achievements in service and innovation have, in fact, contributed significantly to the enhancement of Canada's social and economic fabric, and have helped to position the country as a centre of excellence throughout the global satellite industry.

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From the Industry

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View a testimonial from David Golden,
the first President of Telesat.

View the video video icon
(Quicktime, 628 KB, 0:29 minute)

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