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CCR Short Takes

News | 06/21/2001 4:00 am EDT

Bird shut out of satellite game
Industry Canada awarded a licence to Telesat Canada today to launch a new satellite into the 118.7 degree orbital slot. The decision shuts out newcomer Bird Satellite Communications Inc, the only other player vying for the space (CCR March 29/01). Bird, a $1-billion venture headed by Richard Stursberg, former president and CEO of Cancom, had applied March 15 for a licence to launch two satellites for broadcast and Internet use. Telesat proposed much the same.
In its decision, Industry Canada noted "a comparative licensing process was used to select the successful applicant and to ensure that satellite capacity and services are available to meet Canadian needs today and in the future." It said Telesat and Bird’s applications were compared on the basis of proposed coverage and capacity of Canada, the viability of their plans, and the benefits to public institutions and underserved areas.
The government also called the awarding of the licence an important step towards improving the Canadian information infrastructure.

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