The project has the code name 03b, understand: the other 3 billion people, those who do not have easy internet access. Building underground or submarine lines as in developed countries would be very expensive, so Google, HSBC and Liberty Global chose the satellite route. A choice that will cost “only” 750 million dollars. Subscriptions should not be more expensive than the prices encountered in the West, if not less. The internet giant, the international bank and the internet operator hope to reach emerging markets in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
16 satellites have already been ordered. They will connect to existing terrestrial networks for better reception. The project even provides a connection quality similar to that of fiber opticsAn optical fiber is a glass or plastic wire. Its diameter is very thin and has an interesting property: conducting light. Surrounded…. It is already installed in certain areas, which will create competition with the installations planned by 03b.
Internet to help developing countries?
The operation is of course far from humanitarian. But it gives hope for change. Trevor Manuel, South African Minister of Finance, encouraged this initiative which will help bridge the digital divide. Greg Wyler, the initiator of the project, considers that such infrastructures will encourage “the appearance of locally created content, an education system via the internet, telemedicine and other projects that bring economic growth and social development”. Internet, creator of social progress? It will be necessary to wait a few years before being able to rule on the question… The commissioning of the first satellites is planned for the end of 2010.