Billionaires are currently locked in a battle for the Internet-in-space, with the most recent surge made by SpaceX which got $1 billion in funding from Google and Fidelity. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk plans to launch hundreds of internet-signal satellites into space.
Musk is on a mission to deliver reliable internet access worldwide where other attempts have not quite gotten off the ground, so to speak. There is truly a vast untapped potential in connecting the estimated 3 billion people that still aren’t online. They could be shopping, clicking on ads and using social media.
Today about 10-15 businesses make it possible to get an internet connection from a satellite, but it requires special hardware, it’s unreliable, slow and ridiculously expensive.
- Elon Musk of SpaceX wants to use hundreds of internet-signal satellites.
- Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google wants to use a battalion of Wi-Fi balloons that will float in the stratosphere.
- Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook wants to use high-flying drones to carry the internet.
- Richard Branson of Virgin Records wants to launch 648 micro-satellites for high-speed internet and phone service.
The Internet has become so much a part of society that access is almost considered a human right. But when Egypt un-plugged the cabled internet in a bid to assert authoritarian control, it clearly revealed that land based internet is a liability to liberty.
Policy analyst Carissa Bryce Christensen notes that Google’s balloons will go up first because they’re easier to launch, then Facebooks drones but both will need to navigate a small mountain of complicated world laws and restricted airspace. SpaceX will be the first to deliver worldwide internet, because the outer atmosphere belongs to no-one.
She paid $20 million for space ride: Video
Read Article (Jose Pagliery | money.cnn.com | 01/21/2015)
The article doesn’t mention the 10-15 satellite internet services currently available and price comparisons. Hopefully these billionaires are planning to lower the price of internet service below the current levels.
Access to the internet really ‘is’ a Human-Right and should be free! That may sound naive in this money driven world, but it’s true. Unfortunately that’s not how it works.
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