Google, O3b and various investors have inked a deal to provide low cost, low latency Internet access to “the other 3 billion”. I remember thinking, several years back, why doesn’t just think about launching it’s own satellites. Hopefully, this development will prove fortuitous to the aid organizations working in these regions. From the New York Times article:
Satellite company O3b Networks has linked up with Google and other investors to bring cheaper, high-speed wireless Internet access to areas unlikely to see investments in fiber infrastructure.
O3b stands for “other 3 billion,” a reference to the world’s population that still can’t access the Internet. O3b, which is based in the U.K.’s Channel Islands, said construction is under way on 16 satellites that will drop the cost for ISPs and operators to provide Internet access over 3G (third-generation) and WiMax networks.
Those satellites will provide backhaul capacity, also known as “trunking,” for ISPs (Internet service providers) and operators, essentially moving large amounts of data wirelessly between points where fiber-optic cable has not been dug into the ground, said Greg Wyler, O3b’s founder and CEO.