Google wants to use satellite technology to improve connectivity
At the beginning of 2014, there were estimated to be between 2.5 and 3 billion internet users around the world – that’s around 35% of the world’s population (data for some countries remains patchy, hence the range in the estimate). Mobile connections account for the vast majority of new sign-ups.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is planning to improve access to the internet by launching a series of satellites which can help broaden internet access. The plans would cost Google anything between $1-3 billion.
Both Google and Facebook have been exploring a range of technologies to improve connectivity – including drones, satellites and high altitude balloons. The current Google project is exploring the use of small, lightweight satellites.
Meanwhile, residents of Löwenstedt , a village in Germany, didn’t wait for Google to launch its satellites. The village has built its own super-fast internet service because their population was too small and scattered for national internet operators to bother with. Businesses, individuals and villages collaborated to build the network.