This is what happens when designers and visionaries turn into engineers: Insane ideas which seem impossible at first; but can disrupt the whole ecosystem if implemented.
Imagine a giant WiFi network supported by thousands of small satellites spread in the space. This network can provide absolutely free Internet access to anyone on Earth with a mobile or a computer, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Anyone in remote Siberia to dense Amazon forests in Brazil to divers in Pacific Ocean can access free WiFi and connect with the world wide web.
Sounds unbelievable? Certainly it is, but not impossible. And a US based Non-Profit organization Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) is planning to implement exactly the same. Their project: ‘Outernet’ aims to successfully implement the Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
On their website, they are claiming that less than 40% of world’s population has Internet connectivity, despite low prices of hardware and such technological breakthroughs. Their mission is to bridge the “Information Gap” and make this world an even place.
This project has attracted quite an interesting buzz, as technical specialists from all over the world are discussing it’s viability. A HAM Radio operator having 30 years of experience explains that this is not feasible and is best described as ‘fantasy’. On Reddit.com, he shares the problem:
“As a HAM radio operator for over 30 years I can say with great certainty that this is a MASSIVE load of crap!. These guys have nothing but vapor. Wifi lacks the power to work from satellite, and the round trip travel time will cause the TTL timer to expire, causing nearly every packet to be discarded unless both the satellite and the ground station have customizations in the radio firmware.
Also, EVERY participating ground station is going to need a BIG, high-gain directional antenna, with an accurate tracking system to follow the satellite as it passes over, just as EVERY other low earth orbit satellite does. The radio will require the facility to adjust for Doppler shift, which exactly ZERO wifi radios have.
These guys are COMPLETELY high on crack if they think that they can go from concept to LAUNCHING DOZENS OF F****** SATELLITES INTO SPACE in ONE AND A HALF YEARS!”
Google has already initiated such a campaign to provide Internet access to all, which they call Project Loon. The project uses high-altitude balloons placed in the stratosphere at an altitude of about 20 mi (32 km) to create an aerial wireless network with up to 3G-like speeds. Last year in June, the project was successfully tested in New Zealand as well. More details are awaited.
Do you think that such projects are in reality possible or they are just figments of imagination? What benefits can we all have, once each and every human being on Earth is capable of accessing Internet? Do share your views by commenting right here!
About the Author
Mohul is a Senior Online Marketer from Noida, India. You can follow him onFacebook to know his views on Online Marketing, Entrepreneurship & Life!