Google Will Spend Over $1 Billion on Internet Satellite Program

Google Will Spend Over $1 Billion on Internet Satellite Program

Google Satellite 310x

Phase One is 180 low-orbit satellites, which would bring broadband Internet to areas where it's not available.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google will spend over $1 billion on its new satellite Internet initiative.

The plan, which is focused on bringing broadband Internet to areas where it's currently unavailable, calls for an initial rollout of 180 small, low-orbit satellites.

The cost could rise to $3 billion, depending on how many additional satellites Google deploys after the initial launch phase.

The Journal says that Google's satellite program is being led by O3b Networks founder Greg Wyler. Google has also been busy hiring engineers from Space Systems/Loral LLC. Both companies are focused on satellite communications technology.

Such an Internet satellite network is win-win for the likes of Google. The network would bring reasonably fast broadband Internet to those who cannot access the Web by any means right now. Whether it's third-world countries lacking the proper infrastructure, or rural communities in North America where the broadband pipe doesn't exist.

The upside for Google, along with oodles of positive publicity, is users and eyeballs. Opening up the Internet to millions of new users means the next wave will be, in theory, using Google services, both free (search, email) and paid (apps).

The rumored satellite network is not the first rural Internet plan Google has crafted -- Project Loon is a similar initiative, although it uses drones instead of satellites to serve up broadband -- nor is Google the only tech giant on the block with such grand aspirations; Facebook is trying a similar drone-based Internet network, too.

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Just a couple years ago I would have been impressed. I would have thought $1 Billion would be a lot to spend on a satellite program.

However, since Google's $3 Billion Nest Labs buyout, Apple's $3 Billion Beats Electronics buyout, Youtube's rumored $1 Billion buyout of Twitch, and of course the Facebook buyout of Kickstarted Occulus Rift for $2 Billion I now realize that $1 Billion is just chump change for these companies.

In other words this must just be a small side project for these guys. Heck, the way the article is written Google probably sees it as a charity thing...something that doesn't cost them much but gives them lots of publicity from gullible consumers and might even be a tax write-off for them if their accountants really can swing it as a "donation" type thing. Sort of like that reality show Undercover Boss where the multi-millionaire CEO of the megarich-corporation-of-the-week "learns" the true value of the lowly employees and the hard work they do and "rewards" 1 or 2 of them at the end of the episode with a $2,000 scholarship or T-shirts for that employee's child's little league team.

It's going to be like internet... FROM SPACE!

Hmmm, wasn't there a proposed set up like that to provide alternative service to the cable company's connection a few years ago by Anonymous and others? Would Google start to become a provider in of itself? Is this their plan to side-step the abomination that is the new FCC rules if they pass?

Kuala BangoDango:
Just a couple years ago I would have been impressed. I would have thought $1 Billion would be a lot to spend on a satellite program.

However, since Google's $3 Billion Nest Labs buyout, Apple's $3 Billion Beats Electronics buyout, Youtube's rumored $1 Billion buyout of Twitch, and of course the Facebook buyout of Kickstarted Occulus Rift for $2 Billion I now realize that $1 Billion is just chump change for these companies.

In other words this must just be a small side project for these guys. Heck, the way the article is written Google probably sees it as a charity thing...something that doesn't cost them much but gives them lots of publicity from gullible consumers and might even be a tax write-off for them if their accountants really can swing it as a "donation" type thing. Sort of like that reality show Undercover Boss where the multi-millionaire CEO of the megarich-corporation-of-the-week "learns" the true value of the lowly employees and the hard work they do and "rewards" 1 or 2 of them at the end of the episode with a $2,000 scholarship or T-shirts for that employee's child's little league team.

A guy just sent 104 sprites to orbit the earth for less than $100k. Now, those were very basic but the premise remains. Done right, $1 billion is amazing with the purchases that google has already made to get the infrastructure in place. We could have the likes of Google Fiber everywhere if this works. It likely won't be close to the 1gb up/down but it should be better than what we currently have.

So, assuming that this is built upon the acquisitions and innovations already acquired by Google, this $1bil could just be paying for the nuts and bolts rather than the things you're comparing. They're also nowhere as inefficient as the government which spends money like it's toilet paper.

So is anybody else wondering how this will affect the "net neutrality" issue? Internet providers can charge what they want... or you can just use Google. That would be really funny.

Nimzabaat:
So is anybody else wondering how this will affect the "net neutrality" issue? Internet providers can charge what they want... or you can just use Google. That would be really funny.

Yes, exactly. Since google refuses to go the dirty ISP route of taking advantage of the customer, they could be a seriously dangerous entrant into a previously firmly entrenched market. It's honestly amazing that they'd do this and go about it with integrity. ISPs currently have their domains mapped out so that most consumers don't have access to more than 2 options, ever. Google could blow that up and give us honest options at an honest cost. They're not only against destroying net neutrality but actively refuse to charge companies for storing servers in Google's warehouses.

Remarkable.

Doesnt anyone else find all the things that Google is getting their collective "fingers" into just a tad bit disturbing??

Riff Moonraker:
Doesnt anyone else find all the things that Google is getting their collective "fingers" into just a tad bit disturbing??

No, I see no reason why a global network of satellites, an array of wearable surveillance devices and a fleet of driverless cars could be any kind of cause for concern. And their army of personal helper robots with portable laser cannon can only lead to positive benefit to humanity.

Riff Moonraker:
Doesnt anyone else find all the things that Google is getting their collective "fingers" into just a tad bit disturbing??

They're a rapidly growing tech company and most of their endeavors push the spread of the internet and the betterment of mankind. So no, I don't find them concerning now. The spirit of the corporation is generally extremely socially conscious. Until such a time as they prove me otherwise, this is a good thing.

Flatfrog:

Riff Moonraker:
Doesnt anyone else find all the things that Google is getting their collective "fingers" into just a tad bit disturbing??

No, I see no reason why a global network of satellites, an array of wearable surveillance devices and a fleet of driverless cars could be any kind of cause for concern. And their army of personal helper robots with portable laser cannon can only lead to positive benefit to humanity.

Anyways, what we're seeing is the end result of a very clever initiative that Google launched years ago, where employers were allowed and encouraged to spend 20% of their work time on personal pet projects. This is what gave us Gmail, Chrome and launched multiple projects from the driverless car and age regression research. Google is probably sitting on a stockpile of ideas just waiting for the time to receive funding.

Flatfrog:

Riff Moonraker:
Doesnt anyone else find all the things that Google is getting their collective "fingers" into just a tad bit disturbing??

No, I see no reason why a global network of satellites, an array of wearable surveillance devices and a fleet of driverless cars could be any kind of cause for concern. And their army of personal helper robots with portable laser cannon can only lead to positive benefit to humanity.

Now you guys are just being very cynical. I actually applied for a job at Google once. It was a really warm, welcoming place. The Google employees who worked there all looked perfectly happy and content. And so friendly! Even though I didn't get the job, I remember how affectionate they were. How they suddenly surprised me by surrounding me, smiling with a kind of soulless glassy-eyed fanaticism, opening up their arms to embrace me.

And I was like "Yay! Group hug!" when I felt a sudden pain on the back of my neck, and honestly I don't recall too much after that. I don't remember driving home, for example, although I must have done so at some point, since I'm there now. At least, I think I am.

Anyway, the takeaway from this is that Google is the best company in the world and you should all buy Android phones and chromebooks to celebrate their sheer greatness. (I have no idea why I just said that, but it felt... right.)

Devin Connors:

The rumored satellite network is not the first rural Internet plan Google has crafted -- Project Loon is a similar initiative, although it uses drones instead of satellites to serve up broadband...

Erm... no it doesn't - Project Loon uses high-altitude balloons... hence it's name. :|

How bad would the lag be?

ZippyDSMlee:
How bad would the lag be?

Less-so than 'internet unavailable', but I can see why people would ask.

OT: Well now, a series of setallites designed to send a signal all across...

*Thump-thump-thump-thump!*

...all across the globe. Sounds familiar somehow, like a...

*Thump-thump-thump-thump!*

Like a rhythm of some kind, like...

*Thump-thump-thump-thump, Thump-thump-thump-thump!*

...DRUMS!!

Vote Saxon!

FalloutJack:

ZippyDSMlee:
How bad would the lag be?

Less-so than 'internet unavailable', but I can see why people would ask.

OT: Well now, a series of setallites designed to send a signal all across...

*Thump-thump-thump-thump!*

...all across the globe. Sounds familiar somehow, like a...

*Thump-thump-thump-thump!*

Like a rhythm of some kind, like...

*Thump-thump-thump-thump, Thump-thump-thump-thump!*

...DRUMS!!


Vote Saxon!

Frankly I would still spend twice as much or more to get something that dose not lag, but I guess you have to start somewhere.

Redlin5:
It's going to be like internet... FROM SPACE!

Hmmm, wasn't there a proposed set up like that to provide alternative service to the cable company's connection a few years ago by Anonymous and others? Would Google start to become a provider in of itself? Is this their plan to side-step the abomination that is the new FCC rules if they pass?

google already is its own internet provider. Its called Google Fiber. Heck, they run data centers in arctic because its easier to cool them with constant freezing temepratures outside. google kinda does what it wants.

TheMadDoctorsCat:
The Google employees who worked there all looked perfectly happy and content. And so friendly! Even though I didn't get the job, I remember how affectionate they were. How they suddenly surprised me by surrounding me, smiling with a kind of soulless glassy-eyed fanaticism, opening up their arms to embrace me.

brainwashing at its finest. i see they already perfected that technology.

ZippyDSMlee:

FalloutJack:

ZippyDSMlee:
How bad would the lag be?

Vote Saxon!

Frankly I would still spend twice as much or more to get something that dose not lag, but I guess you have to start somewhere.

actually if your playing in trans-continental servers its likely you are doing it via sattelites already anyway. like, say, australians playing on Asia servers. so the lag isnt really that bad. cant play twitch shooters on it obviuosly, but its not really crippling.

Flatfrog:

Riff Moonraker:
Doesnt anyone else find all the things that Google is getting their collective "fingers" into just a tad bit disturbing??

No, I see no reason why a global network of satellites, an array of wearable surveillance devices and a fleet of driverless cars could be any kind of cause for concern. And their army of personal helper robots with portable laser cannon can only lead to positive benefit to humanity.

lol, silly me... you're right. :) Skynet, er.. I mean... Google is humanitys future!

Lightknight:

Riff Moonraker:
Doesnt anyone else find all the things that Google is getting their collective "fingers" into just a tad bit disturbing??

They're a rapidly growing tech company and most of their endeavors push the spread of the internet and the betterment of mankind. So no, I don't find them concerning now. The spirit of the corporation is generally extremely socially conscious. Until such a time as they prove me otherwise, this is a good thing.

I admire your positive outlook. Unfortunately, I am just one of those types that trusts very little. I am one of those that always looks to see where the exits are in a room, just in case. I also never sit in public with my back facing people, I always sit with my back to a wall.

Riff Moonraker:

Lightknight:

Riff Moonraker:
Doesnt anyone else find all the things that Google is getting their collective "fingers" into just a tad bit disturbing??

They're a rapidly growing tech company and most of their endeavors push the spread of the internet and the betterment of mankind. So no, I don't find them concerning now. The spirit of the corporation is generally extremely socially conscious. Until such a time as they prove me otherwise, this is a good thing.

I admire your positive outlook. Unfortunately, I am just one of those types that trusts very little. I am one of those that always looks to see where the exits are in a room, just in case. I also never sit in public with my back facing people, I always sit with my back to a wall.

Ok, so you're saying you're somewhat paranoid? Paranoia is very seldom justified but occasionally is. I remain open to re-evaluation but I'm not about to conspiracy theory every company.

180 Satellites? Just how many of these things do we have up there now anyway? Do they ever collide? Do they fall to earth? Has anyone ever been hit by a rogue satellite, destroying their home/killing them?

Is there some sort of global effect by having masses of metal orbiting the earth? Like a ring of asteroids that slowly grows?

1000 Years from now how many will be up there? Will work have to be done to re-claim dead satellites?

Interesting.

Lightknight:

Riff Moonraker:

Lightknight:
They're a rapidly growing tech company and most of their endeavors push the spread of the internet and the betterment of mankind. So no, I don't find them concerning now. The spirit of the corporation is generally extremely socially conscious. Until such a time as they prove me otherwise, this is a good thing.

I admire your positive outlook. Unfortunately, I am just one of those types that trusts very little. I am one of those that always looks to see where the exits are in a room, just in case. I also never sit in public with my back facing people, I always sit with my back to a wall.

Ok, so you're saying you're somewhat paranoid? Paranoia is very seldom justified but occasionally is. I remain open to re-evaluation but I'm not about to conspiracy theory every company.

I wouldnt call it paranoia, I would call it cautious. I'm not seriously suggesting to write them off as honest-to-goodness harbingers of doom, however, I AM suggesting that I find alot of their recent "investments" peculiar. I assure you I do not subscribe to the conspiracy theory thinktank, but I listen, observe, and question.... as should we all.

 

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