The Internet is all about innovation, using digital technology to break molds. No company exemplifies this idea more than Google, the search engine company that has become, through its own innovation, so much more than that.
Google has already captured headlines with its super high speed Internet service in Kansas, its large scale purchases of renewable power, and its driverless cars. According to a recent story in the financial press, the company is laying the groundwork for yet another far-out endeavor that will bring the Internet to every corner of the globe—from outer space.
In June, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that Google is purchasing a fleet of satellites that will orbit the earth at low altitudes, relaying broadband Internet signals to areas of the planet that are not currently connected. According to the article, Google laments that “two-thirds of the world have no access at all.”
The company wants to change that, and the satellite concept is not the first it has tried. Google has been experimenting separately with balloons and solar-powered drones to help relay Internet signals to out-of-the-way places that are not serviced by a provider. Eventually, all three projects could complement one another.
The satellite venture will cost Google $1 billion, according to the WSJ. It will begin with 180 small satellites. At first, the satellites will weigh more than 1,500 pounds, but eventually they will weigh less than 250 pounds. With adjustments, improvements and expansions, the project cost could eventually triple to about $3 billion.