Improving Lives Through Telecommunications – My North My Home



Our Canada - it's all our duty

Michele Beck

Telesat, Ottawa, Ontario

My Job

is satellite communications

My Passion

is improving the lives of Canada’s northern populations with broadband internet

Improving Lives Through Telecommunications

For many of us in Canada, living online has become second nature. We enjoy high connection speeds, and it takes almost no time to download an email attachment or our favourite television episodes. But for Canadians living in our northern territories, the speeds just aren’t up to scratch. Michele Beck of Telesat helms a project dedicated to bringing high-speed broadband internet to the North.

Michele Beck has a long history in the broadcasting and telecommunications field. Thirty years of experience and a background in engineering have helped Michele understand the challenges and needs that Telesat’s customers face and she is well equipped to answer the question: “how can we connect our country effectively?”

Telesat’s mission is to develop and deliver satellite solutions to connect end-users with high-speed communications systems. Telesat’s early innovations started with broadcasting services. Telesat was instrumental in developing direct-to-home satellite broadcasting in Canada and the first company in North America to offer high-definition television. For Michele, sharing Canada’s telecommunication advancements with the rest of the country has always been a point of pride.

Faster, reliable broadband will open Nunavut to the world.

Michele and her team are now working on a new innovation that will connect communities across Nunavut with faster, more reliable broadband internet following the launch of Telesat’s Telstar 19 VANTAGE satellite this summer. Michele explains that it’s another example of how Telesat has worked with providers to deliver connectivity up north for almost 50 years, be it telephone or television broadcasting connections. Satellites have been used from the earliest days of the internet to extend its reach to the Far North, but often at speeds below those that Canada’s residents in major cities enjoy. For many users in Nunavut, the speeds required to upload data just aren’t available: health records, driver’s licenses, and other important legal documents are transferred physically between communities on data sticks. Many in Nunavut rely on publicly available computers to do most of their online communications. The benefits of faster broadband speeds to our northern communities could be huge, but they have to be made available. This has become Michele’s focus.

“With the new Telesat satellite capacity we’re deploying, northern providers will be able to deliver high speeds to homes, and 4G wireless mobility services to every community,” Michele explains. “Faster, reliable broadband will open Nunavut to the world.”

Nunavut will have access to e-commerce, online education, lifesaving online and telehealth care options, faster communications not only for residents but for Canadians in our research and defence industries working hard in the North. Since many communities in the North do not have advanced medical centres, many pregnant women, for example, must leave home alone and fly to the south to receive care while their babies are born. Having online or virtual consultations with doctors readily available to these mothers will make a world of difference.

Michele is proud to be part of the mission to connect all Canadians to the most advanced communications services — and she promises that even greater capabilities will be coming from Telesat in the next few years.