Google has announced an investment in 03b Networks, whose goal it is to get internet connectivity to developing nations. Of course, the idea is that the internet will be high-speed and low-cost.
Google Product Manager Larry Alder explains why this is so difficult, but how it can be accomplished:
Most of today's developed countries are linked by thousands of kilometers of submarine fiber optic cables to carry core Internet traffic. This is a very cost-effective solution, once the fiber is in place; but in many developing and remote areas, fiber isn't available due to economic and sometimes political roadblocks. Though existing geo-synchronous satellites are able to reach theses areas, they provide slow Internet connectivity because of their distance from the Earth - and they're expensive and often fully subscribed. O3b plans to deliver fiber-like Internet backhaul service using a constellation of medium-orbit satellites. This means data can be quickly transmitted to and from even the most remote locations such as inland Africa or small Pacific islands.
What do you think of this initiative? Will it work? Let us know your impressions in the comments.