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news Elon Musk races to beat Google & Facebook in outerspace Internet Services

Spaceship Spaceship
The Telegraph published a piece on the race between Internet giants to provide satellite Internet to the world, especially to developing countries that are currently without it.
Elon Musk, the billionaire technology entrepreneur, has announced plans for a space Internet project that would provide faster, cheaper access around the globe.

The $15 billion plan would use hundreds of satellites placed 750 miles above the Earth, far lower than existing communications satellites.
Doing so would speed up the transfer of data and give better coverage to three billion people who do not have it. The speed would be similar to that of fibre optic cables on land even given the distance the data has to travel between the satellites and Earth.

Mr Musk told Bloomberg Businessweek: "The speed of light is 40 per cent faster in the vacuum of space than it is for fibre. The long-term potential is to be the primary means of long-distance Internet traffic and to serve people in sparsely populated areas.
Other big players in the race to provide worldwide Internet from the sky include Google. It is pursing Project Loon which would deliver access to remote areas using hot air balloons.

Meanwhile, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is exploring giant drones, satellites, and lasers as delivery methods.
I'm not to sure how reliable satellites are with so many different aspects of interference, but then, I suppose it already works out great for satellite TV. I also imagine that such a large campaign would help reduce high-speed Internet costs.

HughesNet already offers satellite broadband, but at a premium of up to $10 per MB, anywhere in the world via satellite broadband access. I would love to be able to have a solid monthly plan for broadband that is reliable, fast, and cost effective.

Look out Google and Facebook, you may just lose the edge over the next big thing that you were drooling over.

Full Article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor.../Elon-Musk-announces-space-Internet-plan.html
 
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It will be interesting to see who is to win the internet space race. All have a large budget to do so. However, which will reach more consumers to not only turn out to be more cost effective, but pack the bandwidth and network response times as well?

I remember having HughesNet when it was marketed by DirecTV as DIRECWAY as I grew up in a rural area that did not get DSL until around 2001. Conveniently it just so happened to be the month after our contract with an enormous cancellation fee ended, so we got wired up.

When surfing the internet and downloading on satellite, the speeds were blazing fast. Though, it was limited to 400 MB every 4 hours. I don't know if it's still ran like that today, but you would get amazing speeds for about 30 minutes on a 700 MB download and then have to wait 3 1/2 hours, either pausing it because you need the bandwidth to surf the net as it would take it all at an amazing 6 KB/sec; just a tad over 56k modem speeds, or keep it going and it still not finish the download until the cap was lifted. I can say from experience that the caps they set were aggravating at the least.

Another annoyance was latency with DIRECWAY in online multi-player games. I was unable to play Counter-Strike as my ping was so high that I would get booted off of most servers. When I was able to play, none of my shots registered and I ended up dying. This is an issue all of these technologies may not be able to combat and won't win over the gaming sector in my opinion.

It appears that HugesNet now gives 40 GB anytime, a little over half of what they used to provide in the 400 MB chunks, and at the same low price of $129.

If any of these concepts spring up, the limits should be lifted at the minimum to help businesses grow.

Although, either way you look at it, they will have consumers by reaching the most people that can't currently be reached or are still stuck with low speeds.

With satellites, it sounds like a huge $15 billion dollar gamble over hot air balloons. Having said that though, one must look at how much already went into the research and development of satellite internet and if it has paid off verses investing time and money into a new technology from drones to lasers.

All it is now, a race to who can do it first, reach the most customers, have better pricing and of course, who can do it better.
 
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