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The Almighty Buck Google Space The Internet

Google To Spend $1 Billion On Fleet of Satellites 170

An anonymous reader writes "Google is planning to spend over $1 billion on a fleet of satellites to extend Internet access to unwired regions around the world. 'The projected price ranges from about $1 billion to more than $3 billion, the people familiar with the project said, depending on the network's final design and a later phase that could double the number of satellites. Based on past satellite ventures, costs could rise. Google's project is the latest effort by a Silicon Valley company to extend Internet coverage from the sky to help its business on the ground. Google and Facebook Inc. are counting on new Internet users in underserved regions to boost revenue, and ultimately, earnings. "Google and Facebook are trying to figure out ways of reaching populations that thus far have been unreachable," said Susan Irwin, president of Irwin Communications Inc., a satellite-communications research firm. "Wired connectivity only goes so far and wireless cellular networks reach small areas. Satellites can gain much broader access."'"
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Google To Spend $1 Billion On Fleet of Satellites

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  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Monday June 02, 2014 @10:35AM (#47146629) Homepage Journal

    What a great way to build an global sigint platform. I am sure that those sats could pick up any radar signal transmitted on Earth in real time.

  • by Junta ( 36770 ) on Monday June 02, 2014 @10:57AM (#47146775)

    counting on new Internet users in underserved regions to boost revenue, and ultimately, earnings.

    If they were doing this out of a sense of humanitarianism thinking the internet is so important that they want to do some altruistic investment, that's one thing.

    If they are thinking they have a significant revenue opportunity in regions without infrastructure to otherwise participate in the internet, that seems a dubious investment. It seems that such areas are underserrved because they can't afford it. Spending a large amount of money to work around one fairly small facet of their reality seems like it would be challenging to recoup. I suppose as a reach they could believe that internet access would accelerate some elevation in socioeconomic conditions for such areas, though that would be a bit of overconfidence in what access to the internet could help a society overcome...

    I personally am surprised at just how much of the population is enthusiastic about the increasing breadth and depth of control over our lives being assumed by a very small number of companies (e.g. amazon, google, apple). In internet technology in particular it is sort of sad to see since that has had so much of its functionality well federated and we are generally seeing it degrade into proprietary walled gardens with 'trusted' companies owning their little piece of ecosystem wholly.

  • Re:Iridium flares (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Monday June 02, 2014 @11:02AM (#47146825) Journal

    The only part they overlooked was not that there wan't anyone in the middle of nowhere, but that most of the people in the middle of nowhere found $5/minute on a large, dedicated device a touch on the pricey side.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 02, 2014 @11:14AM (#47146903)

    Another couple of years or so, and all of our infrastructure will be owned by corporations, who will allow us to use it at their sufferance, and only by giving them everything they want.

    These same companies continue to bribe governments to give them favorable laws and outcomes (not to mention lower taxes).

    Corporate America, and their global lackeys, are pretty much ruining the global economy.

  • by geekanarchy ( 769840 ) on Monday June 02, 2014 @11:39AM (#47147091)
    Some poor people are poor because they always buy what you're selling.

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?