Plus Snap’s big push to stay relevant, Amazon’s Alexa-powered AirPods alternatives, more Android Q news, and a lot more. It’s time to talk about the biggest, coolest, or generally most interesting stories from the last 24 hours.
Amazon Wants to Send 3,236 Satellites into Low Earth Orbit to Bring Internet to the Masses
Last September, there were murmurs of Amazon working on some sort of space project. More details recently arose, showing that the plan is to launch a bunch of satellites to trickle down internet access to underserved communities.
Seriously though, how cool is that?
Amazon is calling this effort “Project Kuiper,” (named after astronomer Gerard Kuiper) and the details were recently uncovered by GeekWire in a series of three filings made by the FCC. The plan is to launch 3,236 satellites—784 at 367 miles, 1,296 at 379 miles, and 1,156 at 391 miles—to provide internet access in places around the Earth that are either totally unserved or generally underserved. Amazon wants to bring internet access to the globe.
In response to the findings, GeekWire reached out to Amazon for a statement, at which time the project was confirmed:
Project Kuiper is a new initiative to launch a constellation of low Earth orbit satellites that will provide low-latency, high-speed broadband connectivity to unserved and underserved communities around the world. This is a long-term project that envisions serving tens of millions of people who lack basic access to broadband internet. We look forward to partnering on this initiative with companies that share this common vision.
The report goes on to state that the satellites would provide coverage ranging from 56 degrees north to 56 degrees south latitude, and that “about 95 percent of the world’s population lives within that wide swath of the planet.” Sorry, other five percent.
Unfortunately, Amazon didn’t provide a timeline for the launch of these satellites, nor did it speak about the logistics or economic aspect of the project.