DailyPost 2063

While we keep discussing 5G and how the world would revolutionize in our direction towards Web3 and Metaverse, the other stark reality that hits is that large chunks of our population, are not in a position to get a worthwhile internet connection. It can be their location, literally midway to nowhere or lack of commercial viability. If we do a serious study, it’s they who need it the most and a vast majority of them have the capability to pay. Literally life will come to them, if they were to be provided with stable internet connectivity. While all governments make tall claims for making this type of connectivity available but finally end up self complimenting on whatever has already been achieved. They have deep pockets and the mandate to make digital democratization a reality, but they don’t have the understanding, the political will, and capability of creating a cutting-edge product of this nature to fruition.

Telcos rule the roost and today the internet is at their mercy as far as normal users are concerned. The terms, conditions, quality etc are all dictated by the telcos. In these scenarios, will we ever be able to reach out to those millions who are the worst inhabitants of the digital divide. Satellite internet access is the answer. The internet access is provided through communication satellites. ”Consumer grade satellite internet service is typically provided through geostationary satellites that can offer relatively high data speeds.” The analogy would be taking the internet to the dish tv level. If it were to happen, would it make the internet unbreakable for the common user. Who would drive this mammoth internet transition project? While the benefits are known, inclusive of bypassing cumbersome logistical issues, are we moving in this direction?

This would be the future of the internet, when once and for all, the availability conundrum is sorted out. We cannot get the fleet ready but for a ready expressway, the current arrangements are certainly not anywhere there, to say the least. Here the tech entrepreneur comes into the picture. He has to reach Mars too. His space company SpaceX is behind this project named Starlink. ”Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX.” This coverage is currently provided to 32 countries, where its use has been licensed and has the ambition to provide a full global coverage, in the days to come. ”As of May 2022 Starlink consists of over 2,400 mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), which communicates to the dedicated ground receivers.”

The project is a cash guzzler by any stretch of imagination. The decade long project’s design, build and deploy constellation was estimated by SpaceX in May 2018 to be in the tune of $10 billion dollars. SpaceX expects a revenue of $30 billion out of this project by 2025. US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on SpaceX behalf has submitted filings to International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to arrange a spectrum of 30,000 additional Starlink satellites. It would supplement the current quota of 12,000 already approved. Some astronomers have raised various concerns pertaining to such a large number of satellites being put in orbit. Having created Tesla and SpaceX, both of which are scripting technology and business history, Starlink will not be far behind. Any number of hiccups will come his way, but going by the past, the technology battled Elon Musk will finally have his way.

Sanjay Sahay

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