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Google goes to space to link “other 3 billion”

Google has thrown its weight behind ambitious plans to bring internet access to three billion people in Africa and other emerging markets by launching at least 16 satellites to bring its services to the unconnected half of the globe. The search engine has joined forces with John Malone, the cable television magnate, and HSBC to set up O3b Networks, named after the “other 3bn” people for whom fast fibre internet access networks are not likely to be commercially viable.

They are ordering 16 low-earth orbit satellites from Thales Alenia Space, the French aerospace group, as the first stage in a $750m project to connect mobile masts in a swath of countries within 45 degrees of the equator to fast broadband networks. Larry Alder, product manager in Google’s alternative access group, said the project could bring the cost of bandwidth in such markets down by 95 per cent. “This really fits into Google’s mission [to extend internet use] around the developing world,” he said. Read more.

2 Comments to Google goes to space to link “other 3 billion”

  1. October 14, 2008 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Hello there!

    It’s the first time that I hear about this news, and I must say this is a great idea from Google and other people involved.

    Internet connectivity will make education much easier in these parts of the world, where they can really benefit from better education so they can solve big problems in terms of food shortage, disease spreading in many other things.

    Although having a satellite with Internet connection is not the answer to these problems, it will surely be one step in the right direction to educate the younger people so they can have a better life and a better future for their countries.

    Of course Google also has an interest in spreading its website all over the world, but feared the benefits are very very big!

  2. February 16, 2009 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    hi there,

    i think this is a wonderful idea, everybody wins. on the one hand, google and

    on the other hand people who will have the chance to be up dated.

    great. this is very good to spread democracy all over the planet

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