Google to cover earth in Wi-Fi via $1 Billion+ worth of satellites

We’ve spoke previously about Google’s ambitious project to provide internet access in hard-to-reach locations, called ‘Project Loon’. Clearly not content with this, the company is looking to spend an expected minimum of $1 Billion on satellites to provide Earth-wide Wi-Fi for the masses.

Its rollout will consist of 180 “small, high-capacity satellites” which will orbit the Earth at a low altitude and be led by field expert, Greg Wyler, from satellite start-up O3B networks. It is said his team – consisting of between 10 and 20 people – will report directly to Larry Page.

The initial plans are expected to cost between $1 billion to “more than $3 billion” dependent on the network’s final design. If successful, a later phase could double the amount of satellites placed into the atmosphere.

“Space junk” is already becoming an issue and causes problems with efforts such as the ISS (International Space Station) with experts recently saying the scenes depicted in the movie ‘Gravity’ are a very real possibility. Although the low altitudes planned for Google’s satellites won’t add to the clutter found at higher altitudes – it may interfere with other projects.

The plans will undoubtedly face heavy scrutiny and regulation as a result. Google, as the world’s largest web company, is under constant observation for how data is used and collected. With its (said to be) unwilling involvement in the NSA’s spying programme, other nations in particular may not take all too kindly to the idea of earth-wide satellites providing their internet access.

Google’s business needs as many people online as possible, which is why the company looks into providing access wherever possible. Aside from ‘Project Loon’, Google has also bought a drone company which they are also testing for providing web access. This latest attempt now means Google has three similar projects on the go to achieve their goal.

Previous attempts at worldwide internet access via satellites have proved unsuccessful, but mainly due to escalating costs. Cost, clearly isn’t as much of an issue to a company such as Google. Especially with how much they could end up gaining in the long-term.

What do you think about Google’s plans to cover the world in Wi-Fi? Let us know in the comments.

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