Nearly two-thirds of the world still does not have Internet access. In this day and age, that’s almost unthinkable. Google, however, seeks to change that and has already started projects that will bring Internet access to those areas. Last year, the company announced Project Loon, an ambitious mission that would bring internet-carrying balloons to internet-free regions. And now, Google is taking that a step further by announcing plans to launch Internet-delivering satellites.
Although balloons are inexpensive and easy to launch, using satellites to deliver Internet technology gives the company more flexibility, as well as the opportunity to provide greater coverage areas. The idea is to spend over $1 billion on 180 small satellites that weigh less than 250 pounds and put them into space, but at a lower altitude than traditional satellites’ orbits. Google hopes to reach entire populations it hasn’t reached before, and basically get those people hooked on its products and services, thereby increasing company revenue.
Earlier this year, Google acquired Titan Aerospace with plans of using drones to also carry Internet to those without it. Balloons, satellites and drones are much more feasible for Internet delivery because laying fiber cable is more difficult in underdeveloped regions of the world.
Facebook is also in the running for providing Internet coverage. The company plans on using its own solar-powered drones to blanket the world with Internet.
In the end, though, whichever company wins the Internet race doesn’t matter: we all win when everyone gets connected.